On the 14th of July, Member States agreed on the Commission's proposal to allocate €150 million to key trans-European energy infrastructure projects, including several LNG studies across the EU: The bulk of the support will go to projects in Central Eastern and South Eastern Europe as well as to projects in the Baltic region. In total, 20 projects were selected following a call for proposals under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), an EU funding programme for infrastructure. The selectedprojects will increase energy security and help end the isolation of Member States from EU-wide energy networks. They will also contribute to the completion of a European energy market and the integration of renewable energy sources into the electricity grid. On the occasion, European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: "The completion of a truly competitive EU-wide energy market is essential in order to turn the Energy Union into a reality. But without reliable and well-connected energy networks this will not happen. This is why we are investing in projects to integrate the market further and to diversify sources and routes, in particular in Central Eastern and South Eastern Europe as well as in the Baltic region." In the gas sector, the allocated grants will cover, amongst others, studies for the Chiren underground storage expansion project in Bulgaria and construction works on the interconnection between Poland and the Czech Republic. Funding will also be allocated to innovative studies on how to remove a major obstacle to the free flow of gas in the EU, namely the different practices of odorizing gas in the transmission system. This study will identify solutions to allow bidirectional flows on a major north-south pipeline in Germany. The overall goal of the projects selected for financial support is to enhance the security of supply and improve market integration through the diversification of sources and routes. In the LNG sector, a route identification study including conceptual design and preparatory activities for the permitting process for a gas pipeline connection between Malta and Sicily that would include an FRSU received €400,000, while LNG Croatia received €550,000 for a field and laboratory investigation study and preparation of reports for an LNG regasification vessel in Krk. Another Croatian company, Plinacro received €2,250,000 for a pre-investment phase for the project of the main LNG transit gas pipeline Zlobin-BosiljevoSisak-Kozarac-Slobodnica. In the baltic region, Gasum received €3,385,000 for pre-FID studies for Finngulf LNG terminal. A total of €5.35 billion has been allocated to trans-European energy infrastructure for the period of 2014-2020 under the CEF. In order to be eligible for a grant, a proposalmust relate to a project included in the list of 'projects of common interest'. The first list was adopted by the European Commission in October 2013. It consists of 248 energy infrastructure projects which, when completed, would each ensure significant benefits for at least two Member States; enhance security of supply, contribute to market integration and further competition, as well as reduce CO2 emissions. Under the first call for proposals under CEF-energy in 2014, 34 projects were offered €647 million of financial support. Under the first CEF Energy 2015 call for proposals, 23 eligible proposals were received, requesting, in total, €216 million of financial support. Proposals that were not selected under the first call may apply for funding again under the second call for proposals, which was launched on 30 June with an indicative budget of €550 million. The deadline to submit applications is 30 September 2015. Source: EU Commission Press Release