The European Commission has made its first formal call for proposals under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), to help finance key European Union (EU) energy infrastructure projects, writes Keith Nuthall. In this round of subsidies, €200mn will be made available for major pipeline projects designed to eliminate structural bottlenecks impeding the flow of energy between EU countries.
EU Energy and Climate Action Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete said: ‘With this call for proposals we are actively investing EU money where it is most needed and where it will bring most gains.’ The money will be focused on projects already identified as eligible for this funding. Projects include the Moffat gas interconnector between the UK and Ireland to allow reverse flows from Ireland, rather than just from Britain, as at present. They also include creating a new gas interconnector between Portugal and Spain and between France and Spain. Further projects will connect Malta to the European gas network, and create a pipeline between Poland and the Czech Republic, among others.
The EU funding goal is to hasten the construction of these projects, attracting additional private and public investment. The deadline for applications was 28 April 2016; and proposals should be selected by 31 July. A second €600mn call for CEF proposals is scheduled for October.