CO2 registries to reopen Friday or Monday: sources

BRUSSELS/LONDON Wed Feb 2, 2011 3:38pm EST

A bird flies near chimneys emitting smoke in the harbour area of Copenhagen January 26, 2011. REUTERS/Yves Herman

A bird flies near chimneys emitting smoke in the harbour area of Copenhagen January 26, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Yves Herman

BRUSSELS/LONDON (Reuters) - The European Commission will announce the reopening of some of the bloc's national carbon registries a day in advance on either Thursday evening or Friday, EU sources told Reuters on Wednesday.

A Thursday announcement would mean the registries would reopen on Friday. An announcement on Friday would signal operations resuming Monday, the sources added.

This would coincide with ICE Futures Europe's planned resumption of spot carbon trade on February 7.

The European Commission halted spot trade two weeks ago after permits called EU Allowances (EUAs) vanished from national, electronic carbon accounts called registries in Greece, Austria and the Czech Republic.

The Commission closed the bloc's national registries, which administer and transfer EU carbon permits, while they beefed up security measures. It said last week it would give the carbon market 24 hours' notice before it reactivated any registries.

One EU source said the first registries to reopen would probably include Germany, the Netherlands, Slovakia and Britain.

A UK environment agency spokeswoman said it expects its registry to meet the Commission's requirements and to re-open "as soon as possible."

A spokeswoman at the German registry DEHSt said it hoped to reopen by Friday but it could not give a date for certain.

"We hope to reopen by Friday but there is no official information about that. Maybe tomorrow we will know more," she told Reuters.

Registries in the Netherlands and Slovakia declined to comment before the EU announcement.

Some other registries may not open for some time.

The Czech registry said on Wednesday it was still doing the EU-required tests and reports and it would probably not reopen for weeks.

Italy's registry said on Tuesday it could not give firm indications about when it would reopen.

Greece's registry said transactions were suspended until security checks were completed.

If registries start to reopen next week, up to 5.6 million EUAs from a UK auction and German auctions could enter the market.

(Additional reporting by Michael Kahn in Prague, Martin Santa in Bratislava, Ivana Sekularac in Amsterdam and Harry Papachristou in Athens; editing by William Hardy)