Estlink is owned by a special purpose company called Nordic Energy Link AS, made up of five Baltic and Finnish utilities: Eesti Energia Latvenergo, Lietuvos Energija, Helsingin Energia and Pohjolan Voima. The link crosses the Gulf of Finland and is connected to substations near Tallinn, Estonia and Helsinki, Finland.
The whole link is either underground or underwater, and power is transmitted via high-tech extruded (oil-free) HVDC Light® cables - there are no overhead lines. Estlink is part of the Baltic ring and allows for power exchange between the Baltic countries (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) and the Nordel grid.
Estlink provides a variety of benefits for transmission grids in Estonia and Finland, such as emergency power control, damping control, voltage or reactive power support, and frequency control. A special feature of the Estonian power system is a black-start capability, to help restore the Estonian power system in case of blackout. Long term, Estlink could also enable energy imports from Nordic countries.
ABB received the contract for the entire HVDC Light® link: converter stations and DC cables. The whole project was completed in 19 months.