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EU plans to grant exceptions in ownership unbundling of energy grids

The EU plans to grant temporary exceptions for new infrastructure projects as part of its plans to unbundle utilities’ ownership of European energy grids, Boersen-Zeitung reported, citing industry sources in Brussels.

The motive behind the exceptions is to maintain incentives to invest in new infrastructure, the report said. The €4 billion ($5.5 billion) gas-pipeline under the Baltic Sea, a joint project by OAO Gazprom, E.ON AG and BASF AG, could be such an exception, it said. The EU’s draft for new energy regulation is to be approved by the EU commission on September 19, but is unlikely to be accepted by the council of ministers due to resistance in France and Germany and the required majority of EU member states, Boersen-Zeitung further reported. It added that the EU’s draft also grants member states the option to transfer grid operations from utilities to an independent operator, instead of forcing utilities to sell off their grids. (Forbes)