The growth of the pipelines in SEE a political or an
economic development?

Author: Dr Lorenc Gordani

Published: 24 April 2015

In the last period, by a
rapid glimpse seems that we are in a multiplication of initiative gas pipeline that
advance with chaotic and indefinite roadmap that interest directly the South
East Europe (SEE). Than without losing here with reporting, about the long list
of the initiate what it can be said for sure that the SEE is passing in the
stage of the most interest region regard the growth of the gas pipeline.

In second to understand
the reason is interesting a return to genesis that refer
to the initiative of the Southern Gas
Corridor (SGC), proposed in its first time, by the European Commission’s
Communication “Second Strategic Energy Review – An EU Energy Security and
Solidarity Action Plan” (COM/2008/781).
In regard of particular interest
for the here topic, is that in the same document, the Commission proposes also
the following among other with the priority regard the North-South Gas and
Electricity Interconnections within Central and South-East Europe.

The following with an in-depth retrospect make us to report in
particular that the gas market development of the South East region of the
Europe was shaped by the Energy Community Treaty (EnCT). In framework of the which in 2011, Ministerial
Council (MC) invited the Contracting Parties (CPs) to prepare the Energy
Community Strategy and the list of Projects of Energy Community Interest (PECI).
A Task Force set up to undertake is first step the Strategy, prepared and
approved by the MC in 2012. As a further step, the project proposals collected
by the Energy Community Secretariat (ECS) were submitted by 31 December 2012 and
endorsed by MC on October 2013. In last the MC meeting in October 2013, was adopted
a list of 35 Peci.

In
the last months, representatives of Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece,
Hungary, Italy, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia as well as European Commission
Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič and Commissioner for Climate
Action & Energy Miguel Arias Cañete have held the first meeting of the
Central East South Europe Gas Connectivity (CESEC) High Level Group in Sofia.
The objective of the High Level Group was to establish a regional priority
infrastructure roadmap and advance its implementation in order to develop
missing infrastructure and improve security of gas supplies. The ultimately, objective
affirmed is that each Member State of the region should have access to at least
three different sources of gas.

The
timely implementation of infrastructure is particularly important in view of
the vulnerable situation of the Central Eastern Europe and South East Europe
region. This was demonstrated most recently by the European Energy Security
Strategy and Stress Tests performed last year. Security of energy supply is one
of the building blocks of the Energy Union project, one of the priorities for
the European Commission.

Than in the last in the framework of expert level analyses – carried out
in sub-groups looking at specific infrastructure corridors with the aim of
identifying missing links and other barriers hindering effective market
integration – has taken place the initiative of
the Bulgaria and Greece sent letter to the European Commission, signifying
their application for an EU grant worth EUR 220 million for the construction of
a gas interconnector linking the two countries (ICGB).

Actually, the
budget of the ICGB project company for 2015, amounting only to EUR 10 million, was approved during the
meeting of Bulgarian, Greek, Hungarian, Romanian and Slovenian representatives
on the future of the Vertical Gas Corridor in Sofia on 22 April 2015.
Construction works on the interconnector should start in March 2016 and it is
set for completion some time in 2018. The final investment decision is expected
to be signed on May 29. And the Bulgaria’s state-run Bulgarian Energy Holding
(BEH), which has a 50 percent stake in the ICGB project company, is partnering
with the IGI Poseidon consortium consisting of Edison S.p.A (Italy) and the
Greek state-owned DEPA.

All here above
reported leads by our idea in two simple conclusions: First, the all is coming only
in framework of the completing the internal market foreseen as the unique option
able to guarantee security of supply for all Member States. And second, the all
to have such market depending only by triggering of the private investment in
infrastructure. In addition, in the last what is important is that if we can
all of this bringing real gas-to-gas competition to all Member States we will
have achieved something important.