The European Union argues that without its support, private operators and national authorities have insufficient incentives to carry out large infrastructure projects with a cross-border impact and to roll–out European-wide interoperable systems and services. Thus it is that with a proposed budget of €42.3 billion for seven years (2021-2027), the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) will support a new round of projects, of which 72% of the purse has been allocated to transport.
CEF announced the new round of funding on June 6th within the context of the next long-term EU budget 2021-2027. The “Call for proposals concerning projects of common interest under the Connecting Europe Facility in the field of Trans-European Transport Network Multi-Annual Work Programme 2014-2020: CEF Transport 2018 – General Envelope” received an allocation of €30.6 billion. Energy received €8.7 billion and digital €3 billion.
The proposed budget is 47% higher than the previous allocation (2014-2020) and signals the EU’s determination to function as a Single Market with improved connectivity and reduced carbonisation. Cleaner transportation is an integral component of this work. The CEF Atlantic Corridor Report of February 2018 noted that Road Actions in the corridor expect to install 33 LNG, 28 CNG and 1 H2 refuelling stations as well as stations for other alternative fuels, for road transport.
For 2021-2027, the Commission is proposing to strengthen the environmental dimension of the CEF by integrating all three funding streams, with a target of 60% of its budget contributing to climate objectives. This will help reinforce the Energy-Union, fulfil the EU’s commitments under the Paris Agreement and consolidate Europe’s global leadership in the fight against climate change.
Vice-President responsible for Energy Union, Maroš Šefčovič said: “Since the Paris Agreement, creating links between sectors is imperative. The new Connecting Europe Facility will push for even greater synergies between the transport, energy and digital sectors to maximise the impact of the energy transition.”
The CEF will support smart, sustainable, inclusive, safe and secure mobility, in line with the ‘Europe on the Move’ proposals and the EU’s transport infrastructure policy. It will for instance help with the decarbonisation of transport by continuing to promote the development of alternative fuels infrastructure.
CEF Transportation Projects in Action
The ATLANTIC CORRIDOR – FEB 2018 REPORT explains that the corridor provides both inland and maritime connections between the Iberian Peninsula with France and Germany. There have been several maritime, multimodal and road projects made possible by CEF funds in the present period (ending 2020), including the following Actions:
Maritime Actions include:
The S/F SamueLNG for a Blue Atlantic Arch (code 2015-EU-TM-0307-W) – the first phase of a Global Project aiming at improving the sustainability of marine traffic by promoting marine LNG as a viable fuel source for small vessels. Involves France, Spain and Netherlands.
Completion of project activities will represent a significant step to the advancement of LNG as a fuel source, and will enable the second phase of this Global Project, which include the further installation of the mobile LNG shore unit in the Port of Gijon and the bunkering of the floating barge in the Port of Vigo.
Start date: August 2016. End date: June 2019. Project Cost: €19.7 million (CEF to contribute 50%).
Multimodal Actions include:
CORE LNGas hive – Core Network Corridors and Liquefied Natural Gas (2014-EU-TM-0732-S): this project aims at supporting the deployment of LNG infrastructure for maritime transport and ports operations along the Spanish and Portuguese sections of the Atlantic and Mediterranean Core Network Corridors in line with the corresponding Corridor Work Plans. It includes a group of studies and real-life pilot deployments.
The results will provide recommendations for the Spanish and Portuguese National Policy Frameworks for alternative fuels supply infrastructure, and will prepare the roll-out plan for future commercial deployment along the two Corridors in the Iberian Peninsula.
Start date: January 2014. End date: December 2020. Project Cost: €33.3 million (50% funded).
Road Actions include:
Connect2LNG (2014-EU-TM-0630-S): The key objective of the action is to increase the use of LNG fuel in heavy freight logistics by introducing the sustainability-agenda of manufacturers/retailers – in addition to cost – as a deciding element in future contract negotiations between manufactures and transporters.
The specific objective of the action is the completion of a study with a pilot deployment of a LNG refuelling network (5 pilot LNG stations) along 3 Core Network Corridors and full-scale deployment of LNG as a road-transport fuel for medium to long haul road transport involving the fuelling points and operation in LNG trucks.
Involves Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and Spain. Start Date: October 2015. End Date: December 2018. Project Cost: €9.1 million (50% funded).
LNG motion: Fuelling trucks with LNG/CNG along the core network (2015-EU-TM-0422-S): The general objective of the Action is to support the reduction of CO2 emission in all 9 Core Network Corridors through the use of alternative fuels specifically LNG and Bio-LNG.
Start Date: February 2016. End Date: December 2020. Project Cost: €55.6 million (50% funded).
LNG4Trucks (2016-DE-TM-0332-S): The overall objective of this Action is to overcome the current market barriers and accelerate the market uptake of a blend of Bio-LNG and LNG, as an alternative fuel for road transport and to accelerate the large-scale roll-out to a trans-European network of (Bio-)LNG fuelling stations.
The outcomes will be used to accelerate the large-scale roll-out to a trans-European network of 200 (Bio)LNG fuelling stations across Belgium, France, Germany and Poland by 2030.
Start Date: February 2017. End Date: December 2020. Project Cost: €19.2 million (50% funded).
Source: Adapted from press releases and publications of the European Commission