PARIS Dec 7 French energy markets regulator CRE
is withholding approval for a planned second power link between
France and Britain to assess the impact of Brexit on the
project, it said on Wednesday.
CRE said it approved RTE's 1.525 billion euros ($1.6
billion) budget for 2017 investments, compared with 1.549
billion approved for 2016, including some initial spending
related to the 1,000 megawatt (MW) power link with Britain.
But it said it would launch a public consultation on legal
issues raised by Britain's vote to leave the European Union.
"The approval of the IFA 2 project will be the subject of a
specific decision in January 2017," CRE said.
RTE is developing the Interconnexion France-Angleterre
project, estimated to cost 740 million euros, with Britain's
The link is expected to be completed by 2020, and will
become the second power link between Britain and France aimed at
increasing power transmission capacity between the two after the
2,000 MW IFA high voltage link that was commissioned in 1986.
The regulator said the project was started with the
hypothesis that Britain would remain a member of the EU, but the
Brexit vote had created some uncertainties.
It said depending on how Britain leaves the bloc, some new
treaties would have to be negotiated to govern future relations.
"Nothing today sheds any light on what these potential new
treaties may contain, notably on the United Kingdom's access to
the internal market, including the electricity market," CRE
"This situation is unprecedented and creates uncertainties,
particularly with regard to rules around electricity
interconnections and, more generally, access to the EU internal
The British government has accepted the opposition Labour
Party's call for it to set out its plan for leaving the European
Union before formal talks begin, but has asked parliament to
respect its Brexit timetable.
($1 = 0.9338 euros)
(Reporting by Bate Felix; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)