Another failure for the National Resilience and Recovery Plan: European Commission rejects 600 million euros plan to connect hundreds of Romanian localities to the national natural gas grid


The European Commission disagrees to finance via the Recovery and resilience Facility the Romanian project within the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) for the connection to the natural gas networks of hundreds of localities, announced on Monday the PNL president, Ludovic Orban. This is the second major major project rejected by the Commission, after the one related to the restoration of the irrigation system.

The project, called “Development of natural gas infrastructure mixed with hydrogen and other green gases” for which Romania requested 600 million euros, was proposed by PNL since last year’s version of PNRR.

“Maybe better technical documentation was needed,” the PNL leader Ludovic Orban said.

The PNRR put into public debate by the Ministry of European Investments and Projects shows that “Romania has an insufficiently developed natural gas distribution network to ensure the population’s access to adequate services”.

As an argument in support of this project, the government points out that “the degree of connection of the population to natural gas networks is about 40% (and only 22% in rural areas), significantly lower than the countries in the region (eg Hungary has over 90%) ”. As such, the executive states in the draft PNRR that it aims to “modernize and adapt the existing natural gas transmission and distribution infrastructure for the use of hydrogen and other green gases in order to decarbonize heating in the household and non-household consumers, business clients, and other categories of beneficiaries ”.

In its guide, the European Commission has made it clear that it will not accept polluting projects. The installation of gas-burning furnaces is considered a polluting activity, and the European Commission strongly discourages these projects.

Instead, the European executive encourages the connection of individual households to electricity networks for heating.

In fact, even the project documentation itself mentions pollution as a risk for the project: “the observance of the principle of not significantly harming the environment must be carefully monitored”.

We remind you that Romania is informally discussing with the European Commission the PNRR project, an EU program through which Bucharest could attract almost 30 billion euros in grants and repayable loans for major public works aimed at overcoming the post-pandemic crisis.

Sursa foto: Pexels

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