Projects of Common Interest (PCI) of the European Union
On 14 October 2013, the European Commission has adopted a list of 248 key energy infrastructure projects. These projects have been selected by twelve regional groups established by the new guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure (TEN-E). Carrying the label "projects of common interest" (PCI) they will benefit from faster and more efficient permit granting procedures and improved regulatory treatment. They may also have access to financial support from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), under which a €5.85 billion budget has been allocated to trans-European energy infrastructure for the period 2014-20.
For a project to be included in the list, it has to have significant benefits for at least two Member States; contribute to market integration and further competition; enhance security of supply, and reduce CO2emissions. The list of PCIs will be updated every two years. More information can be found on the website of the European Commission,here: http://ec.europa.eu/energy/infrastructure/pci/pci_en.htm.
The list of PCIs adopted on the 14th October 2013, includes three projects that had been submitted by Cyprus. One project relates to the electrical interconnection between Cyprus and Israel, Cyprus to Crete and Crete to Attica. The other two projects relate to the transport and storage of Natural Gas. The electricity project carries the code name “Euroasia Interconnector” and it is a private initiative which is being promoted by the Project Promoter in cooperation with the local authorities of Cyprus. The project has already been included in the Ten Year Network Development Plan of ENTSO-E which will be completed in 2014.
According to the legislation, the Transmission System Operator of Cyprus is the responsible authority for such interconnection projects. To this effect, the Minister of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism has assigned to the TSO Cyprus the investigation and promotion of the project.