ECONOMY

Unblocking RES projects

The Development Ministry is attempting to tackle the overwhelming amount of red tape blocking a large number of investment projects in renewable energy sources (RES). A decision, co-signed by the ministers of environment and public works, defense, agriculture, culture and transport and communications, cuts down the number of agencies required to consent to projects from 39 to nine, specifies the areas of their competence, and lays down licensing procedures in detail and sets maximum time limits for each stage of licensing. With the decision, the ministry is particularly targeting unblocking a series of projects that have been approved for subsidies under the Competitiveness Program of the EU’s Third Community Support Framework investment plan but have been delayed due to red tape. An accompanying provision ensures speedier procedures for disbursement once a project is approved for funding. Development Minister Akis Tsochadzopoulos yesterday approved 39 such RES projects, with budgets totaling 149 million euros. The decision lays down that within 10 working days of submission of an application and the full file for obtaining a license, the licensing department has to send the file to all nine competent agencies which have to reply back within 40 days at the latest. Applicants may submit copies of the file to the agencies separately in order to speed up the process. If these fail to reply by the deadline, they are considered to have given a positive recommendation. Separately, the Public Gas Corporation (DEPA) said it will soon extend its supply network to Motor Oil refinery in Aghioi Theodoroi and Aluminium of Greece near Delphi. Other extensions will supply the industrial parks and cities of Corinth, Lamia, Kilkis and Larissa.