EU approves gas and oil Projects of Common Interest
The EU has approved €30bn from the Connecting Europe Facility fund for multiple gas and oil projects across the union.
The European Parliament voted down a resolution to block funding for the list of projects on Wednesday. Of the 705 members, 169 voted to stop funding, while 443 voted not to, with 36 abstentions.
Enviornmental voting blocs submitted the resolution because of concern over the number of gas projects on the list.
Actor Mark Ruffalo and environmental campaigner Greta Thunberg were among those who criticised the vote, feeling the full list went against the EU commitment to tackle climate change. Thunberg tweeted: “So much for declaring a ‘climate emergency’…”.
However, the list had the support of multiple large voting blocs. Responding to Ruffalo, chairman of the European People’s Party Manfred Weber tweeted: “[…] These projects are crucial for our energy market in the EU and they will allow for a cleaner, more secure and affordable supply of energy for our citizens.”
The gas projects to receive funding include connecting Malta to the European gas network via Italy and pipelines between ten different countries, including Poland and Denmark.
Connections from Bulgaria to Greece and Serbia will enable the Balkan Gas Hub, a gas exchange which recently started trading.
The fund will “enhance” or give greater capacity to several connectors, while France and Belgium will get funds to adapt from low to high calorific gas types. A pipeline running from Bulgaria to Austria will increase its capacity to accept new reserves in the Black Sea.
In northern Greece, a liquid natural gas (LNG) unloading terminal will receive funds. Greece will also get funding for more gas storage projects, along with Bulgaria and Romania, and a pipeline in Ireland will connect another LNG terminal.
Phase I of the Cluster Krk liquid natural gas terminal in northern Croatia will be constructed, with a connection “towards Hungary and beyond”.
Oil pipelines were also on the list. A connection to link the Odessa-Brody pipeline with the Przyjan pipeline would run for 396km between Ukraine and Poland.
A funded pipeline from Austria to Slovakia would carry 5 million tonnes per year, and a link from Czechia would bring oil to the TRM Spergau refinery in Germany.
Phase II construction of an oil terminal in Gdańsk, Poland was approved, with expanded pipelines.