Creation date: October 2, 2019
EU Member States agreed today with the European Commission's proposal to invest more than €556 million in 8 key European energy infrastructure projects that will improve the integration of the internal energy market and the interoperability of electricity and gas networks across borders. The funds come from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) programme, the EU's financial mechanism supporting trans-European infrastructure.
More specifically, 6 of the selected proposals for funding are in the electricity sector (€550 million) and 2 are in the gas sector (€6 million). €535 million are awarded to projects related to construction works (4 projects) and €21 million to studies (4 projects).
The largest part of the funding (€530 million) will be devoted to the works on the Celtic Interconnector, a new electrical link between France and Ireland, with an approximate length of 600 km and capacity of 700 MW, enough to power 450,000 households. The interconnector will provide a reliable high-capacity link improving the security of electricity supply in both Ireland and France. The feasibility study and the initial design and pre-consultation for the Celtic Interconnector were also carried out with the support of the CEF programme.
Other supported projects include studies for the synchronisation of the Baltic States' electricity networks and the works on the enhancement of Latvia-Lithuania gas interconnection.
All proposals were selected for funding via a competitive call for proposals, launched on 20 March 2019. 17 applications accounting for a total of €2.2 billion of requested co-funding were received by the call deadline on 13 June 2019.
Under the CEF programme, €5.35 billion is made available for trans-European energy infrastructure for the period 2014-2020. The programme supports the key objectives of the Energy Union by promoting further integration of the internal energy market, enhancing security of energy supply and integrating energy from renewable sources into the network. To be eligible for a grant, a proposal has to be 'a project of common interest' (PCI) included in the Union-wide list adopted biennially by the Commission. In total, €3.2 billion of EU funding has been allocated to 92 PCIs so far.
Following EU Member States approval of the proposal, the Commission will adopt a formal decision in the coming days. The Innovation and Networks Executive Agency will then sign the grant agreements with the project beneficiaries at the latest by March 2020.