Structural funds for energy might be accessed as of June

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Projects eligible for structural funding for the increase of energy efficiency might be filed as of June, after the applicant’s guide is given to publicity, Cristian Georgescu, head of the Communication Department of the Ministry of Economy and Finance Intermediary Body for Energy told Rompres.
 
Companies operating in the energy sector and local authorities can access structural funds uunder Priority Axis 4 of the Sectoral Operational Program "Enhancing economic competitiveness."
 
"The five applicant’s guides for this axis were completed by the Intermediary Body for Energy and referred to the Management Authority, that operates within the Ministry of Economy and Finance.
 
We hope for the documents to be published in June at the latest," said Georgescu. According to the cited source, the request for projects will be launched immediately after the guide is given to publicity.
 
"The request for projects won’t be launched concomitantly for all areas of interest. The first projects to be submitted refer to the expansion and modernization of gas, electricity and oil transport systems, the next request for projects might refer to the promotion of renewable resources, yet no precise order was established so far," said Georgescu.
 
Between 2008 and 2013, companies in the energy sector will be able to access more than 637 million euro of the European Regional Development Fund, plus another 86 million euro from the state budget under priority axis 4 of the Sectoral Operational Program "Enhancing economic efficiency" titled "Enhancing energy efficiency and supply security in the context of the combat of climate changes."
 
Three areas of interest were identified under this axis.
 
The first refers to improving energy efficiency and sustainable environmental development of the energy system, with eligible investments from energy-saving installations and equipment; beneficiaries are large, small and medium-sized enterprises in the trade, and co-financing can go as high as 10 million euro for one project.
 
Co-financing will be available for investments in the expansion and modernization of electricity, gas and oil transport networks, distribution networks, with a view to reducing network losses; the beneficiaries are operators of transport and distribution systems, with the disbursed financing going to a maximum of 15 million euro for transport and 4 million lei for distribution.
 
This area of interest includes investments in combustion gas sweetening, with only large companies eligible; the maximum financing is 25 million euro.
 
Total available funds for the financing of this type of investments stand over 400 million euro, of which 363 million euro from the European Regional Development Fund, and the rest from the state budget. This year, 38 million euro from community funds and about 4 million from the budget will be made available to beneficiaries.
 
The second area of interest consists of the use of renewable energy resources. The beneficiaries are local authorities, inter-community development associations and companies in the trade. Until 2013 they can receive about 362 million euro, of which 223 million euro in European funding.
 
Activities eligible at this chapter are the accomplishment of new capacities for the production of electric and heat energy and the modernization of existing such capacities for the own and /or energy consumption and supply in the system by use of biomass, hydro-energy (in units with installed capacity below or equal to 10 MW), wind, bio-fuel, geothermal and other renewable energy resources.
 
The maximum financing is 20 million euro per project, large-scale projects excepted. European funds available in 2008 for this type of projects amount to 23 million euro, and those released from the state budget are 4 million euro.
 
The third area of interest is aimed at diversifying interconnection networks for electricity and natural gas transportation systems with a view to increasing energy supply security.
 
The amount assigned for interconnection projects totals 57 million euro, of which 51 million euro in European funds. The maximum granted financing is 25 million euro, with beneficiaries eligible for these funds being national transport operators, specifically Transelectrica and Transgaz.
 
In 2008, they can receive 5 million euro from European funds and 658,652 euro from the state budget.
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