|Benchmarks Decision of the Commission – rules on closures specified - Page 2|
|Friday, 04 February 2011 20:27|
Page 2 of 3
It should be noted that, pursuant to the Decision, an impact on the installation’s allocation of EUAs have, generally, three categories of events:
1) the change to an installation’s capacity (Articles 20 and 21 of the Decision),
2) the change to an installation’s operation (Article 22 of the Decision), and
3) the change to an installation’s activity level (Article 23 of the Decision)
If these conditions are met, the allocation to the installation shall be adjusted - accordingly to the Article 21 of the Decision - as of the year following the one during which the capacity reduction took place or as of 2013, if the significant capacity reduction took place before 1 January 2013.
The cessation of operations – no allowances
The conditions under which the an installation is deemed to have ceased operations are set out in Article 22 of the Decision. They relate to such rather obvious occurrences as the expiration or withdrawal of the greenhouse gas emissions permit, the permit in force in accordance with Directive 2008/1/EC or any other relevant environmental permit or technical impossibilities to operate the installation. The concrete deadline (6 months) for resuming ceased operations follows, however, from Article 22(1) point (e) of the Decision (extended term 18 months is provided for events that used to be usually defined as instances of the force majeure clause.
It is apparent from the abovementioned provision that operators should pay special attention to the calendar when the installation takes a break. 5 months of lack of operation doesn’t qualify for this provision (however may influence the installation’s activity level with effects specified in Article 23) but one month longer break poses a problem.
The aforementioned paragraph 1 (e) of the said Article does not apply to installations that are kept in reserve or standby and installations that are operated on a seasonal schedule, where all of the following conditions are fulfilled:
(a) the operator holds a greenhouse gas emissions permit and all other relevant permits;
(b) it is technically possible to start operations without making physical changes to the installation;
(c) regular maintenance is carried out.
Member States may suspend the issuance of the emission allowances to installations referred to in paragraph 1(e) as long as it is not established that the installation will resume operations but the general effect of the situation where an installation has ceased operation, it that the Member State concerned shall not issue emission allowances to installation falling under Article 22 of the Decision as of the year following the cessation of operations.