In July 2006, the Council adopted the Commission proposal for a revision of the Trans-European Networks- Energy (“TEN-E”) Guidelines. The revised TEN-E Guidelines7 were published afterwards, presenting 42 “Projects of European Interest” to support the rapid implementation of the most important cross-border interconnection capacity. The Projects of European Interest are of a cross-border nature and the maturity of the projects is shown by a firm commitment to start before end of 2006; the normal completion date is 2010 at the latest.

The total amount committed for the projects listed is about €28 billion, distributed as follows: 

  • €4.8 billion for electricity Projects of European Interest 
  • €19 billion for gas Projects of European Interest 
  • €2.5 billion for (Liquefied Natural LNG Gas) priority projects 
  • €2.0 billion for storage priority projects

In the gas sector, the TEN-E policy aims at securing and diversifying additional gas import capacity from sources in Russia, the Caspian basin region, Northern Africa and the Middle East. Therefore, the revised TEN-E Guidelines envisage that additional gas import capacity of up to 100 Billion Cubic Meters will be created by 2013. To achieve this, the EU plans to increase its current pipeline import capacity by about 50 Billion Cubic Meters per year (bm3/a) and the LNG import capacity by another 50 bm3/a. The following pipeline projects have, amongst others, been included in the TEN-E Guidelines as Projects of European Interest: 

  • the Yamal – Europe gas pipeline 
  • a natural gas pipeline linking Denmark, Germany and Sweden 
  • an increase in transportation capacity on the Germany 
  • Belgium – United Kingdom axis 
  • the Medgas gas pipeline (Algeria – Spain – France – Continental Europe) 
  • the Turkey – Greece – Italy gas pipeline 
  • the Lybia – Italy gas pipeline

In the energy sector, the TEN-E Guidelines aim at creating and fostering a functioning European electricity market. In the view of the European Commission, the existing capacities of the electrical interconnections are largely insufficient for the further increase of exchange and trade.

The Heads of State and Government agreed, in March 2002, to set a target for Member States, according to which the level of electricity interconnections should be equivalent to at least 10% of their installed production capacity by 2005. Whilst this objective has not yet been met, the revised TEN-E Guidelines have identified 32 electricity projects in order to create additional interconnection capacity between the Member States.

The list of Projects of European Interest in the electricity sector includes, amongst others, the following projects: 

  • a new interconnection between Italy and Slovenia 
  • the Austria-Italy (Thaur-Brixen) interconnection through the Brenner rail tunnel 
  • the new Sentmenat (ES) – Becanó (ES) – Baixas (FR) line 
  • a line between Philippi (EL) and Hamidabad (TR)
  •  an undersea cable link between England (UK) and the Netherlands 
  • the interconnection of Poland and Lithuania, including the upgrading of the Polish electricity network and the Poland – Germany section as necessary to allow participa tion in the internal energy market 
  • an interconnection line between Velké Kapusvany (SK), Lemesvany (SK), Moldava (SK) and Sajoivanka (HU).`

The call for applications for funding for 2007 will be published in the first quarter of 2007 on the web-site of the EU Commission8. Applications can be made by promoters of eligible projects, and investors in LNG facilities and gas storages. Projects need to be supported by the Member States involved.