Italy is the only EU member state that has not yet submitted to the European Commission proposed changes to the number of free EUAs it wants to give hundreds of industrial plants for 2015, meaning many are now unlikely to get their quotas before the end of April.
More than 300 installations were in the last two weeks told by the government that their permit issuances could be delayed past the Apr. 30 EU ETS deadline – news that caused some operators to panic because they need the allowances for 2014 compliance.
A Commission spokeswoman on Tuesday said that the Italian government had yet to send it any notifications for EUA allocation changes for 2015.
“For all other member states, the notification process has been completed or is in the process of completion,” she told Carbon Pulse.
“The responsibility for the delay in transferring the 2015 allocations to the operators is with the member state. The Commission is ready to process the notifications from Italy speedily as soon as it receives them.”
Attempts to reach a spokesperson from the Italian environment ministry were unsuccessful.
Member states are required to notify the Commission about amendments to annual EUA allocations for installations that have changed their activity level, production capacity or carbon leakage status.
The bloc’s carbon leakage list was amended last year for the 2015-2019 period.
An update published by the Commission late on Tuesday showed that 724.1 million out of a total 791.4 million EUAs that can be distributed for free to industrial manufacturers for their 2015 emissions had been dished out.
Italy accounted for more than half of the outstanding balance, having issued just 44.8 million out of a possible 79.25 million units as of Tuesday.
The UK made up a further 19% of that, having issued 57.1 million out of 70.05 million, the data showed.
While most industrial installations are holding surplus allowances, some face shortfalls and have started borrowing from the current year’s allocation to cover their emissions from the previous year.
Brokers said the delay in the 2015 issuance has forced those companies into the market to do some last-minute buying, which has helped lift EUA prices.
The EC said it will publish a further update to its member state allocation list on May 12.
By Mike Szabo and Ben Garside – firstname.lastname@example.org