EU Member States have agreed on a Commission proposal to invest €263 million in key trans-European energy infrastructure projects. The biggest part of this investment will support the building of gas infrastructure in the Baltic Sea region as well as supporting the electricity sector throughout the continent. Nine projects have been so far selected under the EU funding scheme – Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). The selected priority projects plan to increase the security of the energy sector, connect the isolated EU Member States to the wider EU grid and contribute to the Energy Union objectives of sustainable, affordable and secure energy.
The European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said that “Well-connected energy infrastructure is essential to achieving the Energy Union. This EU support will help fill existing gaps in energy infrastructure, putting us on the path to a truly connected European energy market. This is necessary to strengthen the security of energy supply and a more efficient use of the energy resources and integration of renewables into the grid.”
The European funding will provide €187.5 million for the construction of the Balticonnector, the first gas pipeline connecting Estonia to Finland. When finalized, the interconnector will put an end to the dependence of Finland on a single gas supplier, which will contribute to the security of supply in the Eastern Baltic Sea region. Moreover, the EU will provide €18.6 million to support the project to enhance the Estonian-Latvian interconnection, which will enable better access to storage in Latvia and facilitate a more diverse natural gas transmission network. In the electricity sector, the EU will invest almost €30 million in the construction of a new 100 km electricity line between Dobrudja and Burgas in Bulgaria that will strengthen the resilience of the Bulgarian electricity grid.