Around 75 Italian installations have been cleared to receive a total 3.7 million free EU emissions allowances for 2015 after the government said there were no longer any reasons to block the allocations.
The issuances, announced in a notice dated Mar. 9 on the Italian environment ministry’s website, are more than a year late, with the government providing no further explanation for the delay.
The largest recipients were a steel plant owned by Algerian conglomerate Cevital and due to receive 806,400, a chemical plant owned by Eni S.p.A and due to receive 685,800, and a refinery owned by oil firm API due to get 494,000.
Spot EUA prices have fallen by around 35% since the end of Feb. 2015, the informal deadline for EU governments to hand out allowances for the current year, meaning any of the firms that had plans to sell part of their spare 2015 quotas can expect to receive much less now compared to a year ago.
“It’s crazy,” said one market participant at an Italian firm.
Italy was also identified by the European Commission last week as one of just four member states that had not yet begun their EUA allocations for 2016.
Spain was named as another one, but a market source told Carbon Pulse that the Spanish government had since handed out the majority of its 59 million allowances.
At the time of writing, the Italian environment ministry had not responded to questions emailed by Carbon Pulse regarding the cause of the delays and an indication of when this year’s allocations might begin.
Italy was still doling out allowances for 2014 just days before the Apr. 30, 2015 annual deadline for operators to turn in carbon units for the previous year’s EU ETS compliance.
And even six months after that deadline, the government was still issuing allowances for both 2014 and 2015.
By Mike Szabo – firstname.lastname@example.org