EU lawmakers back plans for priority energy projects, funding
London (Platts)--18Dec2012/626 am EST/1126 GMT
Members of the European Parliament's energy and transport committees
have officially backed plans to grant swifter permitting and access to
funding for priority pan-European energy infrastructure projects, the
European Parliament's press office said Tuesday.
MEPs were voting on a compromise agreed in November with the European
Commission and representatives of national governments on a draft regulation
that would fast-track approvals for key projects and the associated
Connecting Europe Facility, which proposes to earmark Eur9 billion ($11.86
billion) out of a total of Eur50 billion for energy projects between 2013 and
"This regulation sets forth a radically new approach to trans-European
energy infrastructure projects. It is crucial to building a single energy
market in Europe and achieving the '20-20-20 by 2020' goals, which will
foster environmental sustainability, benefit European consumers, and create
jobs and growth for companies and citizens," said Portuguese center left MEP
Antonio Correia de Campos, who was the parliament's lead negotiator on the
Faster permitting is only available for priority projects of common
interest, described by the regulation as projects that are cross-border or
benefit more than one EU member state. They would include oil and gas
pipelines and power grids. A limited number would eligible for funding on the
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12 KEY CORRIDORS
The regulation defines 12 priority corridors for development of projects
of common interest, which would benefit from getting permitting in place
within a limit of 3.5-4.25 years instead of the current average of 10 years.
"Any selected project must be needed for at least one priority corridor
or area listed in the regulation and must meet market integration,
sustainability and security of supply criteria," the EP press service said.
Applications for special status are to be assessed by 12 regional
regional expert groups, made up of member states, the European Commission,
transmission system operators, and project promoters, with each regional
group drawing up a regional list. A final decision on PCI status would be
made by the EC and national governments.
The draft legislation still needs approval from a full sitting of
parliament and EU national governments before entering into force, which is
expected early next year.
--Paul Whitehead, firstname.lastname@example.org
--Edited by Jonathan Fox, email@example.com