VILNIUS CITY STREET LIGHTING – CURRENT SITUATION

Street lighting is related to the implementation of the autonomous municipal functions by ensuring traffic and public safety in accordance with the provisions of the Law on Local Self-Government of the Republic of Lithuania.
The administration of Vilnius City Municipality delegated the functions of operating Vilnius City street lighting service to the company “Vilniaus gatvių apšvietimo elektros tinklai” (VGAET) by allocating necessary appropriations for this activity in its budget. Vilnius City Municipality owns 100% of shares of VGAET.
The company VGAET was established in 1953. The founder and sole shareholder of the company is Vilnius City Municipality.
On 15 August 1991, UAB “Vilniaus gatvių apšvietimo elektros tinklai” was reregistered under the Law on Companies of the Republic of Lithuania from a specific-purpose state-owned enterprise “Gatvių apšvietimo elektros tinklai” (Register No VĮ90-230).
On 20 April 1995, pursuant to Resolution No 537 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 14 April 1995, the company was reorganised into the special-purpose private limited liability company “Vilniaus gatvių apšvietimo elektros tinklai”.
On 24 February 1999, by Decision No 324 of the Council of the city of Vilnius the status of a special-purpose private limited liability company was revoked by reorganising it into UAB “Vilniaus gatvių apšvietimo elektros tinklai” (Register No AB95-568).
Since the establishment of VGAET, three light source generations have changed in Vilnius. Currently the staff of 100 employees of VGAET is maintaining and repairing over 48 thousand lights and spotlights, 938 feeding stations and distributions cabinets, over 1.6 thousand km cable and overhead lines.
The company organises its activities in accordance with the laws of the Republic of Lithuania, resolutions of the Government, other legal acts effective in the Republic of Lithuania and articles of association approved by the Head of Administration of Vilnius City Municipality.
The main economic activity of the company is to operate and construct facilities of Vilnius external lighting electricity networks, architectural illumination and, partially, festive illumination.
The main company customer is Vilnius City Municipality whose orders constitute over 90% of the company’s revenue.
Subject matter of the project:
Vilnius city street lighting networks which are an integral part of Vilnius utilities. Street lighting facilities are one of the main elements of the urban infrastructure. Street lighting, including illumination of pedestrian zones, squares and square gardens, buildings and structures, plantations, monuments and forms of architectural details, not only contributes to the assurance of safe traffic and crime prevention during dark periods, but also directly impacts an image of the city – illuminated streets, square gardens and squares create an image of a safe and cosy city, which encourages the residents and quests of the city to go out during dark periods, and contribute to business (catering, entertainment sectors) development.
The existing illumination equipment do not comply with the regulatory requirements for street lighting – Lithuanian Standard LST EN 13201-2:200. Street lighting. Performance requirements; Lithuanian Standard LST EN 13201-3:2004; Street lighting. Calculation of performance; Lithuanian Standard LST EN 13201-4:2004. Street lighting. Methods of measuring lighting performance. Moreover, it must be noted that pedestrian crossings are not sufficiently illuminated. Almost 800 km of the streets are not illuminated.
Thus, the need for infrastructure, its maintenance and quality provision of the street lighting services is actual and obvious, which results in the need for the investment project.

Table No 1. Infrastructure of street lighting operated by VGAET:

 

INFORMATION ON THE COMPANY

Core activities of the company:
The key area of activities of “Vilniaus gatvių apšvietimo elektros tinklai” UAB (VGAET) is to provide public lighting services in Vilnius city by operating the street lighting networks of Vilnius city.
In 2016, the company carried out activities according to orders of The City of Vilnius Administration on the basis of agreement No A72-2206(3.1.36-UK) on the Provision of remunerated services and works of 28/12/2016. On 28/12/2016, a new agreement was signed that will expire on 01/01/2024.
Planning, accounting, information provision:
The strategic plan approved by the Board of VGAET on 16/03/2016 covers the setting of goals, stating of the existing situation, SWOT analysis, and functions performed. According to the strategic plan, the main goal of the company is to find the most correct way and partners, renew the street lighting networks in Vilnius city. The company is actively working in this direction.
Financial position of VGAET:
During 2016, assets managed by VGAET reduced by 12 %, down to EUR 20.3 million. The decrease in the assets was the result of depreciation of the Municipality’s street lighting networks that has been managed by the company on a fiduciary basis and accounted for as a grant, as well as the reduction of the Municipality’s debt after selling a part of the debt to Šiauliai bank (EUR 0.9 million), also repayment of a part of the debt by the Municipality. The funds received were directed for the covering of obligations.
In 2016, VGAET equity capital increased by 29.3% up to EUR 0.8 million due to generated profit. The equity capital indicator is very low – only 4 %. After adding to the capital the shareholder’s (Municipality’s) street lighting networks that are currently attributed to the grants, the equity capital indicator would be 81%. On 26 July 2017, Vilnius City Council adopted a decision to increase the
authorised capital of VGAET by EUR 21 million, up to EUR xxx by transferring the lighting assets of Vilnius city to the balance of VGAET.

Graphic No. 1

In 2016, income from sales, as compared with 2015, increased by EUR 1.1 million or by 25.8% up to EUR 5.3 million. This growth in the sale volumes was determined by growth in the volumes of repair works and orders for the development of the lighting network. In 2016, VGAET increased sales to third persons by 52% up to EUR 360 thousand, however, income from them accounted only for 6.7% of the total income from sales.

Graphic No. 2

In 2016, EBITDA, as compared with 2015, increased by EUR 401 thousand up to EUR 428 thousand, whereas the net profit – by EUR 208 thousand up to EUR 192 thousand. In 2016, VGAET sustained non-typical expenses of EUR 139.8 thousand due to the sale of a part of the Municipality’s debt. Upon eliminating these expenses, the net profit (i.e. normalised net profit) would increase up to EUR 332 thousand. The increase in profitability was determined by growth in repair works profitable for the company, as well as orders for the development of the lighting network from the Municipality.

Graphic No. 3

In 2016, VGAET used resources more sparingly – reduced costs for fuel, low-value inventory, and other expenses.

Graphic No. 4

In 2016, ROE, as compared with 2015, increased by 25.3 percent up to 22.8 %. A high ROE was achieved, although the profit generated was small as the equity capital was relatively small.

Graphic No. 5

Sets of financial statements of “Vilniaus gatvių apšvietimo elektros tinklai” UAB are available on the website at http://www.vgaet.lt/finansines-ataskaitos/

 

LEGAL ENVIRONMENT

Pursuant to Articles 8(1) and 8(5) of the Law on Local Self-Government of the Republic of Lithuania, “A municipality shall be responsible for rendering public services to residents. <…> A municipality must ensure that all residents of a municipality could make use of public services and that such services would be rendered constantly”. Pursuant to Article 32(2)(17) of the Law on Local Self-Government of the Republic of Lithuania and Article 8(2) of the Law on Energy, the local self-government is responsible for illumination of streets and other public places.
The administration of Vilnius City Municipality, as an executive body of the municipality, shall carry out the following independent and state (assigned to municipalities by the state) local self-government functions directly related to the assurance of a street lighting public service:
➢ territory planning, implementation of solutions of a general plan of a municipality and general plans and detailed plans of the parts of a municipality;
➢ improvement and protection of environment quality;
➢ development of physical training and sports, organisation of recreation of the population;
➢ maintenance, repairing, surfacing of municipal roads and streets of local significance, as well as organisation of traffic safety;
➢ participation, cooperation in ensuring public order, creating and implementing crime prevention measures;
➢ approval of sanitary and hygiene rules and organisation of the control over compliance with the said rules, ensuring of cleanliness and tidiness in public places;
➢ other functions that are not assigned to state institutions;
➢ civil protection.
These functions are directly and indirectly related to the assurance of resident safety and safe traffic on the city streets and other public spaces.
Currently, the lighting system and lamps belong to the municipality, whereas the municipality, when providing public services to the residents, carries out the assigned autonomous functions and those assigned by the state. The Safety Rules for Operation of Electric Equipment (Official Gazette, 2010, No 39-1878) indicate that the lighting network can be operated by “an owner of electric equipment or a legal entity having a certificate of the State Energy Inspectorate allowing to operate electric equipment of this type”. VGAET does hold this certificate. The current lighting system ownership does not allow for the unimpeded implementation of the project – the financial institutions and EU structural funds are financing the modernization of property owned by the applicant only. As the project will be carried out by VGAET, the municipality needs to assign the street lighting property to VGAET by increasing the authorised capital of the company with a contribution of assets. There are no legal restrictions set forth for the implementation of the investment project aside from compliance with the technical construction regulations, hygiene and environmental protection standards.
Issues identified by the investment project:
The current Vilnius City street lighting system is inefficient, consuming too many energy resources, the existing lighting networks are worn out and all this causes high electricity/operational costs. The street lighting system does not provide an option to adjust a lighting level, failures are detected only when lights are inspected physically in-situ or having received messages from the residents, which causes high operational costs and longer periods between failure detection and actual repair. The high depreciation level: over 87% of lights are of Na technology and to be replaced, over 30% of supports are of over 30 years old. The majority of street lighting facilities are fully depreciated.
Vilnius City street lighting infrastructure is not in line with EN LST 13201 standards as part of lighting equipment is installed in too large distances. The infrastructure is not environmentally friendly – high consumption of electricity causes large CO2 emissions.
The investment project has been initiated to solve the issues.
Target groups of the project
The target group of the project is the users of the infrastructure developed during the project that the socio-economic environment created by the project is designed for.
Target groups of the project:
1) Vilnius City population (~543,000);
2) drivers (~ 321,000) and pedestrians;
3) tourists and other guests of Vilnius City (~ 1 million);
4) Vilnius City municipality.
The final report recommendations of the “Methodology for drafting investment projects seeking the funding from the European Union Structural Support and State Budget funds” and “Drafting the methodology and model for evaluation of of the socio-economic effect created by investments financed by the European Union Structural Funds and Lithuanian National Budget funds” were used for drafting of the investment project and assessment of the alternatives.
Recommended Project Implementation Alternative
The investment project analyses 3 alternatives: “Act as usual”, “Minimum modernization”, and “Maximum modernization”.
The recommended alternative is “Maximum modernization”. This alternative is to help achieve the project objectives in full scope – modernization of the existing lighting system by fully moving to LED technologies and flexible control system enabling significant savings of electricity and operational costs of lighting equipment.
Activities of the alternative “Maximum modernization” selected in the investment project:
➢ lighting infrastructure modernization – three years;
➢ lighting management and control system installation – three years by combining the upgraded Vilnius City street lighting infrastructure;
➢ continuous maintenance of street lighting networks – the entire period of the project.
The main technical characteristics of this alternative are provided in Table No 2.

Table No 2. The main technical characteristics:

Activities performed during modernization:
➢ light replacement with LED lights;
➢ installation of a modern management and control system;
lighting network improvement – replacement of part of supports, cantilevers, cables and overhead lines (if required, taking account of the technical network condition and remaining balance);
Constantly supervised activities:
➢ repair and replacement of fault lights;
➢ defect elimination;
➢ maintenance of feeding stations;
➢ maintenance of electrical lines, supports.
Alternative implementation schedule:

Table No 3. Schedule for implementation of project activities:

Having implemented this alternative, consumption of electricity would decrease by 51.4% due to efficiency of LED lights and flexibility of selection of required power, as well as due to lower energy costs.
Investments necessary for continuous maintenance activities will be financed from VGAET own funds throughout the entire period of the project implementation, whereas credit funds will be sued for investments in modernization.

PROJECT OBJECTIVES AND TASKS

Objectives
➢ To modernize Vilnius City street lighting networks, restore their appropriate operational condition by the most economically beneficial method;
➢ To increase Vilnius City street illumination level and quality;
➢ To install Vilnius City street lighting control system to ensure remote system management and failure control;
➢ To save costs allocated to Vilnius City street lighting;
➢ To reduce carbon dioxide emissions into the environment;
➢ To reduce the number of crimes committed in Vilnius City streets during dark periods;
➢ To ensure that the whole infrastructure and provided services are compliant with the requirements laid down in legal acts.
Tasks
To modernize illumination equipment operated by VGAET by ensuring
➢ Effective operation and lighting level control;
➢ Compliance with the laid down traffic safety, environmental and other mandatory requirements;
➢ Use of advanced/innovative technologies.

ISSUES TO BE SOLVED

The Vilnius city lighting system is outdated and depreciated (over 87% of lights are of Na technology and to be replaced, over 30% of supports are of over 30 years old), around 800 km of streets are not illuminated. The management abilities of the existing system do not allow efficient use of electricity. This was mainly due to the fact that the lighting system was modernised episodically due to insufficient financial resources of Vilnius City Municipality and no investment were made in more advanced lighting management systems. This causes high illumination costs (both energy and operating costs), few management options and insufficiently illuminated territories for saving purposes. To summarise the issues, they may be described as follows:
➢ the current street lighting system is inefficient consuming too many energy resources;
➢ the existing lighting networks are worn out and cause high operating costs.
To solve the problem it is necessary to modernise the existing lighting system and additionally invest in the lighting system management technologies. The following activities are planned to solve the problem:
➢ lighting infrastructure modernization – three years;
➢ lighting management and control system installation – three years by combining the upgraded Vilnius City street lighting infrastructure;
➢ continuous maintenance of street lighting networks – the entire period of the project.
Implementation of project would include the following activities:
➢ Sodium vapour lamp replacement with LED – 40.174 pcs.;
➢ Hg lamp replacement with LED– 431pcs.;
➢ Replacement of lighting lines with consumers, except for LED lights – 85 km;
➢ Lighting management system installation – 1 set;
➢ Street lighting network maintenance activities;
➢ Street lighting network repair activities;
➢ Emergency response activities;
➢ Engineering services (designing, examination, maintenance) – 1 set;
Planned investments and financing sources of the alternatives

Table No 4. Investments and financing sources:

VGAET will use own funds to carry out street lighting maintenance, emergency response and repair of lighting facilities. The modernization activities provided for in the investment project will be 100% financed by credit funds.
Having carried out the planned activities, the following electricity and cost indicators are envisaged.
The assessment of the planned activities is preliminary and is based on the analogies on the market and expert evaluations. The scale of investments may change after the public procurement is finished.

Table No 5. Summarised financial data of project:

Table No. 6. Social-economical project evaluatio:

 

PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION PLAN

Project implementation will take approximately 3 calendar years. This period is real to to organize public procurement and complete all planned contracting work. The project will not be divided into phases and it will be implemented as a single integrated project. Start of project should coincide with the start of year 2018. In order to fasten project implementation, preparation of public procurement documentation should be started before the start of project implementation – during September-December 2017. If the required funding is not received, start of project implementation may be adjusted respectively, but project implementation duration should not be changed.

Table No. 7. Schedule of project activities:

Table No.8. Schedule of change quantity:

 

Project results
It is estimated that the street lighting system modernization by replacing the existing lights with LED-technology lights and replacement of another lighting network property (except for lights) will lead to the following results:
➢ having installed energy efficient LED lights and efficient street lighting management system (adjustment of illumination intensity during different dark periods), the amount of electricity consumed and operational costs will decrease – electricity consumption reduced by more than 51% (~ 11,821.6 MWh or over EUR 1 million decrease per year). Electrical equipment repair costs go down by up to 31% (~ EUR 570,000 per year);
➢ quality of street lighting services increases and lighting pollution is decreased;
➢ due to a modern lighting system the street illumination level will comply with the established standards, which will lead to greater safety of road users during dark periods;
➢ the crime risk during dark periods will be mitigated;
➢ upon installation of electrical energy efficient measures, less electricity will be consumed for street lighting, respectively, environmental pollution will be reduced, as well as CO2 emissions;
➢ the modern lighting system will improve the aesthetic view of Vilnius.
It is suggested that the project is implemented by VGAET by ensuring funding from the EU structural funds (if such a measure is envisaged), international or local financial institutions.
Advantages:
➢ Opportunity to determine the scale and criteria of the investment project and adjust it if needed;
➢ Exploitation of the existing infrastructure (employees, transport, city lighting property);
➢ If project risks are not shared and are controlled on our own, risk premiums will not be paid to private project promoters;
➢ Covering project costs from saved costs (electricity, maintenance and repair, operational costs).
Actions required:
➢ Decision of the Council on delegation of the project implementation to VGAET;
➢ Decision of the Council regarding the increase of the authorised capital by assigned property currently operated by VGAET;
➢ Decision on increasing the loan limit and organisation of public procurement;
➢ Finding the project sponsor.
Funding conditions provided for in the investment project:
➢ Credit (credit line) amount – up to EUR 21.65 million;
➢ Credit term – up to 15 years;
➢ Credit deferral – up to 3 years.
Potential savings due to lower operational costs and electricity costs are provided in Table No 9.

Table No 9. Estimated savings:

To sum up, the investment project of the modernization of Vilnius City street lighting system is to be considered as fit for implementation, creating financial and socio-economic benefit and directly contributing to the solution of the issues related to the existing Vilnius City street lighting sy
PROJECT ASSUMPTIONS AND CONTINUATION
Initiation of project is based on the following assumptions to be realised for successful project implementation:
➢ The project will resolve the current issues: the present street lighting system is ineffective, using to much power resources, existing lighting networks are worn out and cause high maintenance costs;
➢ The project will resolve the problem of high operation costs;
➢ Demand of improvement of lighting public services in Vilnius city will remain continuous and increasing;
➢ Lighting technologies in Vilnius city will be significantly improved and modernised, which shall allow significant, i.e., at least 50 perc., reduction of electrical power demand for street lighting.
Continuation of the initiated project will be ensured by the following levels:
➢ Institutional (legal) – the main conditions, which impacts the project implementation in institutional aspect, is the nature of the service related to the project. Street lighting service is the public service, assigned to the execution of municipality`s autonomous functions; therefore, its organisation, as well as organisation of its infrastructure development should be executed by the municipality itself. This can be implemented by the municipality itself (through subordinate institutions or companies) or it may consign it to other legal entities, as prescribed by legislation. After project implementation, change of ownership and disposition rights is not anticipated. All Vilnius citizens and guests will be able to use the project results – no limitations shall be introduced for infrastructure usage. Changes of legislation, which could limit usage of the newly created infrastructure, also are not anticipated. Institutional continuation of project implementation is also ensured by the fact that the work planned during project implementation is included in Vilnius city municipality and State strategic documents;
➢ Financial – the required funding shall be ensured for the infrastructure created during the project. VGAET will take care on infrastructure maintenance and operation. The required
funds to ensure lighting maintenance and proper conditions will be assigned by Vilnius city municipality. Furthermore, the project will allow to reduce the present lighting system costs, operational and fuel expenses ant this will enable money saving.
➢ Technological – it is planned that no additional larger repairs of Vilnius city lighting system will not be required at least for 10 years after modernisation of the existing lighting system. The planned technologies are advanced, durable, long-lasting and are equipped with control system capabilities, which will enable VGAET to take decisions on its own on control of lighting system parameters.
➢ Environmental – certified materials meeting all environmental requirements shall be used during the project, ensuring minimum impact on environment.
Besides, electrical power consumption will be reduced after project implementation, thus, the overall impact will be positive from the environmental point of view.

Table No.10. Estimation of reduction green-house gases and related social-economic benefits:

Director Vilnius street lighting company Sigitas Mocevicius