Priority projects of Energy Community refers to infrastructure projects that comply with the general and specific criteria, as defined in the adapted Regulation 347/2013 on guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure; most importantly its long term benefits outweigh its costs and has a cross-border dimension. On 16 October 2015, the Energy Community adopted the Regulation 347/EU/2013, with certain adaptations.
The purpose of this Regulation is to streamline the permitting procedure and facilitate investments in energy infrastructure, in order to achieve the Energy Community’s energy and environment policy objectives. The Regulation, as adapted for the Energy Community, establishes rules for identifying projects of Energy Community significance, called Projects of Energy Community Interest (PECIs) and Projects of Mutual Interest (PMIs). These projects will benefit from
- streamlined permitting procedures within Contracting Parties – in case the Competent Authorities are put in place,
- where applicable, from cross-border cost allocation.
The identification of Projects of Energy Community Interest (PECIs) and Projects of Mutual Interest (PMIs) has evolved in three tiers:
2018 PECI / PMI selection
2018 PECI / PMI selection
In July 2017, the Secretariat initiated the process, that is to result in the new 2018 PECI/PMI list. In order to implement the procedure and draw up the draft preliminary list according to the process defined in Annex II.2, the Secretariat selected a consultant (the consortium of REKK and DNV-GL) which assists the Secretariat and the electricity and gas-oil Groups defined in the Regulation Annex II.1. In cooperation with two Groups, the consultant's task is to collect, validate and assess submitted PECI/PMI candidate projects.
This assessment work was concluded in May 2018 and the Groups proposed a draft, preliminary list of Projects of Energy Community Interest and Projects of Mutual Interest. The PECI/PMI lists became binding and thus replaced the 2016 list following the 16th Ministerial Council's approval on 29 November 2018. As a next step, the Secretariat, in cooperation with the project promoters, will update the Energy Community infrastructure transparency platform - PLIMA.
2016 PECI / PMI selection
2016 PECI / PMI selection - Priority projects in line with the EU Regulation 347/2013
By virtue of Decision 2015/09/MC-EnC, the Ministerial Council adopted the Regulation (EU) 347/2013 with certain adaptations in October 2015. The Regulation establishes rules for identifying Projects of Energy Community Interest (PECIs) and Projects of Mutual Interest (PMIs). Immediately after the adoption of the Regulation, the Secretariat launched a tender for technical support aimed at providing support in the assessment of the candidate priority projects. In inviting project promoters to submit project proposals, the Secretariat announced the first call for the selection of priority infrastructure projects in January 2016. Following the collection of project details from promoters, the evaluation of the projects commenced at the first Groups’ meeting on 26 February 2016.
The Groups were composed of the energy ministry representative, of the respective TSOs / project promoters, the regulator, the European Commission, the ENTSO-E / ENTSO-G, and the Secretariat. They met to discuss the proposals for priority projects, decide on the assessment methodology, the criteria and their weights, and finally propose a preliminary list of priority projects in line with the adapted Regulation (EU) 347/2013. Coordinated by the European Commission and the Secretariat, the Groups met in total three times in the first half of 2016.
Taking account of the preliminary lists proposed by the two Groups, the list of priority infrastructure projects was established by a Ministerial Council Decision in October 2016. The approach and methodology was similar to the one used in the EU, that led to the selection of Projects of Common Interest.
2013 PECIs - early implementation exercise
On 18 October 2012, the Ministerial Council adopted the Energy Community Strategy. The vast investment needs in energy infrastructure was one of the underlying reasons for the preparation of the Strategy. It defined the required operational framework, methodology, the eligible project categories and the main criteria, along which the projects have been examined and evaluated. Pursuant to the 10th Ministerial Council, the collection of project-specific data from promoters, and their evaluation was to be carried out in the second half of 2012 and in 2013. The proposed approach and methodology was similar to the one that is being used in the Regional Groups of Projects of Common Interest (PCI) selection in the European Union.
In autumn 2012, project promoters of electricity and gas transmission projects, gas and electricity storage projects, electricity generation, liquefied natural gas (LNG), compressed natural gas (CNG) projects, as well as storage facilities for oil, and transport of crude oil projects, were invited to submit information on their projects. Any project promoter, within or outside the Energy Community, was free to submit candidate projects to be assessed as PECIs with the conditions:
- the project is located in at least one Contracting Party, and,
- it will impact at least two Contracting Parties, or a Contracting Party and an EU Member State.
In line with the EU PCI practice, a public consultation on the list of submitted projects took place from 5 March to 29 April 2013. The aim was to collect feedback and comments from stakeholders on the proposed projects and possible proposals for additional projects to be considered.
Supported by a consultant and the Secretariat, the Energy Strategy Task Force prepared a draft list of PECI. As a next step, the list was to be submitted for approval by the Permanent High Level Group and finally to the Ministerial Council for its endorsement in October 2013.
At the time of this first exercise the Energy Community had not yet adopted Regulation (EU) 347/2013, so the process can be viewed as an exercise of early implementation.
- Secretariat, PECI/PMI Project Realization and Monitoring Strategy
- Secretariat, Explanatory Notes on the implementation of Regulation 347/2013 and Decision 2015/09/MC-EnC, Part I: permitting process
- Secretariat, Explanatory Notes on the implementation of Regulation 347/2013 and Decision 2015/09/MC-EnC, Part II: cross-border cost allocation process
- Regulation (EU) 347/2013 on guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure
- REKK, DNV GL, Final report on 2016 assessment of the candidate Projects of Energy Community Interest (PECI) and Projects for Mutual Interest (PMI)
- DNV KEMA et. al., Development and Application of a Methodology to Identify Projects of Energy Community Interest