The European Union (EU) has announced plan to invest €263m in key trans-European energy infrastructure projects.
The funding will be used to support the development of gas infrastructure in the Baltic Sea region as well as to strengthen the electricity sector.
A total of nine projects have been selected for the funding to increase energy security, connect the isolated EU member states to the wider European grid and also contribute to the region’s objectives of affordable, secure and sustainable energy.
The projects were selected under the EU funding support program the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), which aims to fund a total of €5.35bn to trans-European energy infrastructure for the period of 2014-2020.
European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: "Well-connected energy infrastructure is essential to achieving the Energy Union. This EU support will help fill existing gaps in energy infrastructure, putting us on the path to a truly connected European energy market.
“This is necessary to strengthen the security of energy supply and a more efficient use of the energy resources and integration of renewables into the grid."
Of the nine projects, fiver projects are in the gas sector which will secure €210m EU support while the remaining four are in the electricity sector.
The European grants will support construction of the Balticconnector gas pipeline project which will link Estonia to Finland.
It will also provide €18.6m to enhance the Estonian-Latvian interconnection to enable better access to storage in Latvia while ensuring diverse natural gas transmission network in the Baltic Sea region.
One of the projects also includes construction of a new 100km electricity line between Dobrudja and Burgas in Bulgaria to boost resilience of the electricity grid.
EU will also support the development of preparatory study for a secure and reliable operation of the Baltic States' power system and a study on the gas interconnection at Nea Messimvria in Greece.