Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Few Slovak projects apply for “common interest“ status


The European Commission launched public consultation on priority energy projects. Among almost 420 submitted projects you may also find some that refer to Slovakia.

In the process of sorting out energy infrastructure projects according to their potential for common European interest the European Commission (EC) launched an online consultation which should help to decide which projects will gain more advantageous position in the Union energy system.
For practical reasons the indicative list of potential Projects of Common Interest (PCIs) has been divided into one list for electricity projects - which contains 279 items, and one list for gas projects - with 137 projects enlisted.
Deadline to participate is September 20th, 2012, and target groups include wide scale of public authorities, private organisations, industry associations, citizens, NGOs, consumer groups, trade unions and other relevant stakeholders. 

Support for PCIs
In October 2011 the EC tabled a plan for €50 billion investments to Europe's transport, energy and digital networks (Connecting Europe Facility) in the new multiannual financial framework 2014-2020. The energy sector can look forward to €9.1 billion boost acting as a leverage for more funding from other private and public investors.
This is the first time that the EU is co-financing the construction of large energy infrastructure from its regular budget.
Projects of common interest will benefit from a special easier, faster and more transparent permit granting procedure which will not exceed 3 years. They will be eligible for the above-mentioned EU funding, be it grants, project bonds or guarantees. However, PCIs should involve at least two Member States and investors will have to prove that they are commercially not viable.
The Union-wide list of PCIs is proposed to be established for the first time in 2013 and then updated every two years.
The legislative proposals of October 2011 identified 12 priority corridors which apply to specific Member States and thematic areas where all EU member states are concerned. 

Slovak projects
Four of the European energy priority corridors involve Slovakia: North-South electricity interconnections in Central Eastern and South Eastern Europe; North-South gas interconnections in CE and SE Europe; Southern Gas Corridor designed to transport gas from the Caspian Basin, Central Asia, the Middle East and the Eastern Mediterranean Basin to the EU; and Oil supply connections in CE Europe.

List for electricity projects includes six projects referring to Slovakia. The company Slovenská elektrizačná prenosová sústava (SEPS), which operates transmission system in the Slovak Republic, acts as promoter of two projects:
(1) Building of new 2x400kV lines between two substations Veľký Ďur and Gabčíkovo with line length of 93 kilometres. It should help to evacuate power from two new blocks being built in Mochovce Nuclear Power Plant.
(2) Modernization of Voľa point of splitting in the East of Slovakia. 

SEPS together with Hungarian transmission operator MAVIR also promote new electricity line between Gabčíkovo and Gönyű substation on the Hungarian side as well as connection between substations Rimavská Sobota (SK) and Sajóivánka (HU) - both with new 2x400 kV line. MAVIR also submitted project of erection of new high-voltage overhead transmission lines between Slovak substation Veľké Kapušany and Hungarian substation which is still to be defined in the area of Kisvárda.

The company NAFTA, which operates domestic hydrocarbon production and underground natural gas storage (UGS) facilities, promotes regional electricity storage and balancing project in CE at its UGS Láb. It would consist of installation of electric driven compressors and steam turbine that will enable production of electricity from turbines exhaust gases.

Modernization of Láb UGS facility is also the purpose of six projects in the gas list of potential PCIs. These were submitted by companies NAFTA and POZAGAS.

Slovak gas TSO Eustream and its Hungarian partner MGT submitted project of new two-way pipeline interconnection between Veľký Krtíš (SK) and Vecsés in the suburbs of Budapest. With length of approximately 115 kilometres and annual transmission capacity of 5 billion cubic metres, the project will also ensure Slovak access to prepared Southern Gas Corridor projects or LNG terminal in Croatia. Both companies agreed that new interconnector will start commercial operation on 1. January 2015.

Another potential PCI is Poland – Slovakia gas interconnection planned by Eustream and Polish company GAZ-SYSTEM with yet undefined final route nor capacity. Start of commercial operation is predicted for 2017. 

You may find the public consultation here.

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