"PROJECT OF COMMON INTEREST" (PCI) STATUS PROJECTS

Projects of Common Interest (PCI) implemented by GAZ-SYSTEM

Projects of Common Interest (PCIs) have crucial meaning to the implementation of European energy and climate policy. The most important is affordable, secure and sustainable energy for all citizens, as well as building a low-carbon economy in the European Union.

In line with Regulation (EU) No 347/2013 of 17 April, 2013 on guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure (TEN-E Regulation), a list of PCI projects is drawn up every two years.

The projects must contribute to the implementation of the strategic energy infrastructure priority corridors and also significantly improve security of supply, market integration and competition. PCI projects are also intended to support Member States’ climate and environmental activities.

Projects selected as PCIs may benefit from many advantages stemming from the TEN-E Regulation, including an accelerated permit granting process and as well as specific regulatory solutions provided for in EU Regulation 347/2013. Under specific conditions, the PCI status gives a possibility of receiving financial assistance under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) in the form of grants and innovative financial instruments.

The most recent fourth list of PCI projects was released by the European Commission on March 11, 2020. The projects conducted by GAZ-SYSTEM received the priority status in two priority corridors specified in TEN-E Regulation:

1. Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan in gas (“BEMIP Gas”):

▪  Baltic Pipe Project

Gas Interconnection Poland-Lithuania

2. North-South gas interconnections in Central Eastern and South Eastern Europe (“NSI East Gas”):

▪  Interconnection Poland-Slovakia,

▪  North-South Gas Corridor in Eastern Poland,

▪  LNG Gdańsk Project.

The inclusion of GAZ-SYSTEM projects proves their importance for improvement of security and diversification of supply, enhancing competition and improving the access to natural gas as a low emission source of energy in Central Europe and the Baltic region.

Projects of Common Interest (PCI)

PCIs selection process 

Gas project, to be eligible for inclusion in the Union list of projects of common interest (PCIs), shall be part of the latest available ENTSOG’s Ten-Year Network Development Plan (TYNDP).
Once part of the TYNDP, projects promoters willing to obtain the status of Projects of Common Interest submit an application for selection as project of common interest during the PCI candidate submission phase.

Candidate projects are then assessed by Regional Groups that include representatives from EU countries, the Commission, transmission system operators and their European networks, project promoters, regulatory authorities, as well as the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER).

After these assessments, the Commission adopts the list of approved PCIs via a delegated act procedure.

At the end of the selection process, the list of approved projects is submitted by the Commission to the European Parliament and Council. These institutions have two months to oppose the list, or they may ask for an extension of two months to finalise their position. If neither the Parliament nor the Council rejects the list, it enters into force. The Parliament and the Council cannot request amendments to the list.

The PCI selection process is illustrated on the graph below:

Benefits from PCI projects:

  • CO2 reduction

PCI projects allow to increase the use of natural gas as a low-emission energy source for individual customers, energy sector, heating and other industries. As a result of the implementation of GAZ-SYSTEM priority projects, an effective transformation towards low-carbon energy sources will be possible. This is essential, especially considering that high-emission fuels constitute a significant part of the national energy mix in Poland. 

  • Support in the development of renewable energy sources (RES)

A visible increase in investments in renewable energy sources, covering mainly photovolta- ics and wind energy is noticeable in Poland. In this context, the role of natural gas is particularly important, as it will ensure reliable and flexible energy supply in the event of adverse weather conditions (no sun or wind).

  • Air quality 

Air pollution caused by the combustion of high-emission fuels is a considerable threat to health and has a negative impact on the quality of life of the society. Natural gas is a source of energy that can be used effectively and help to resolve problems related to sulfur and nitrogen oxide emissions as well as other pollutants. This will be possible both by effectively connecting individual and industrial customers to the gas network, in particular in the heating sector, but also by increasing the use of LNG and CNG in the transport sector.

  • Security and diversification of gas supply

Obtaining the PCI status by GAZ-SYSTEM’s projects confirms their key importance for increasing the security and diversification of natural gas supplies, as well as building an integrated and competitive natural gas market in Central Europe and the Baltic Sea region. The diversification of sources and thus ensuring the stability and reliability of gas supplies will also reduce the vulnerability of the national transmission system to disruptions in the supply of this raw material, which will positively affect the effective distribution of natural gas to end users.

  • Competitiveness

The planned investments will have a positive impact on the development of effectively functioning natural gas markets in the region and thus - by providing access to new sources of gas supply - obtaining gas at more favorable price conditions. Along with en- suring adequate diversification of gas supply sources, the attractiveness of using natural gas compared to other energy sources on energy markets will increase as well as com- petition between users (gas-to-gas competition). Thanks to this, it will be possible, among others to reduce gas prices for end users.

  • The importance of the Polish natural gas market at the regional level

The direct gas connection with deposits on Norwegian Continental Shelf and signifi- cant LNG supply options (via LNG terminal in Świnoujście and LNG Gdańsk Project) and the implementation of currently developed cross-border pipeline projects connecting the Polish gas grid with neighboring countries (Slovakia and Lithuania) will lay the foundations for the Polish market to become a regional gas distribution centre. 

  • Sector Integration

Building a low-carbon economy requires significant capital expenditure. Therefore, it is essential to apply solutions that, on the one hand, enable the use the potential offered by various sectors of the economy, and on the other, are adjusted to socioeconomic conditions. Closer integration of the natural gas, electricity and heating sectors will help to apply effective solutions with benefit for market participants and energy consumers.

Public participation               

According to TEN-E Regulation the project promoter, before the permit granting process, informs stakeholders about the project at an early stage and the public consultation that will enable to identify the most suitable location and the relevant issues to be addressed in the application file.

Further useful information


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