S.I. No. 76/1978 - European Communities (Minimum Stocks of Fossil Fuel) Regulations, 1978.

S.I. No. 76 of 1978.


I, DESMOND O'MALLEY, Minister for Industry, Commerce and Energy in exercise of the power conferred on me by Section 3 of the European Communities Act, 1972 (No. 27 of 1972), and for the purpose of giving effect to Council Directive 75/339/EEC *, hereby make the following Regulations:

1. These Regulations may be cited as the European Communities (Minimum Stocks of Fossil Fuel) Regulations, 1978 and shall come into operation on the 2nd day of March, 1978.

2. In these Regulations—

"the Council Directive" means Council Directive 75/339/EEC *

"the Minister" means the Minister for Industry, Commerce and Energy.

3. These Regulations apply to electricity producers using power stations other than power stations fired by manufactured gases, industrial waste and other fuel derived from waste, and to such electricity producers using private industrial generators having a total capacity of more than 100 MWe or such other minimum capacity as the Minister fixes from time to time for the purpose of this Regulation.

4. (1) Subject to paragraph (2) of this Regulation, electricity producers to whom these Regulations apply shall maintain permanently at their thermal power stations a minimum level of fossil fuel sufficient to ensure at all times the continuation of electricity supplies for a period of at least thirty days.

(2) The Minister may by an authorisation in writing allow a reduction in the level of stocks specified in paragraph (1) of this Regulation, by such amount as may be specified in the authorisation, but no such reduction shall exceed an amount corresponding to 25 per cent. of the stocks of petroleum products which are held at power stations in compliance with the European Communities (Minimum Stocks of Petroleum Oils) Regulations, 1974 to 1977, and are reserved for the exclusive use of such power stations.

(3) The quantities of fuel to be held at each thermal power station shall be determined by the electricity producers having regard to the possibilities offered by the transmission and interconnection network.


* OJ No. L 153/35, pps. 35-37.

5. (1) Each electricity producer to whom these Regulations apply shall furnish the Minister with a statement, drawn up not later than each 1st day of January, 1st day of April, 1st day of July and 1st day of October, of the stocks held at his thermal power station, specifying the quantities necessary to ensure the continuation of supplies for the period referred to in Regulation 1 of these Regulations.

(2) A statement under this Regulation shall be forwarded to the Minister not later than thirty days after the relevant quarterly date referred to in paragraph (1) of this Regulation.

(3) Notwithstanding paragraph (1) of this Regulation, where the Commission of the European Communities requests a statement under this Regulation to be made for a period and on a date other than those specified in this Regulation, electricity producers shall comply with such a request on being notified of the request by the Minister.

(4) For the purpose of enabling the Minister to check the accuracy of a statement furnished under this Regulation, an authorised officer of the Minister may at any reasonable time (on production of his authorisation if so required by any person concerned) enter any premises where he believes that documents or records of an electricity producer are kept and may take copies of or extracts from such documents or records.

6. (1) Where an electricity producer to whom these Regulations apply experiences fuel supply difficulties at a thermal power station and so informs the Minister, the Minister may authorise the producer to draw on the minimum stocks maintained under Regulation 3 of these Regulations.

(2) Where the Minister gives an authorisation under this Regulation, an electricity producer concerned shall supply the Minister with such information as he requires to comply with Article 4 of the Council Directive.

7. Stocks held under these Regulations shall normally be held by an electricity producer at the premises of the power station concerned or at a place directly linked to the station and may only be held elsewhere if they can be conveyed to the station at all times.

8. (1) For the purpose of assisting compliance with these Regulations, electricity producers may form themselves into groups in order to apportion fuel stocks among their power stations.

(2) Where electricity producers propose to form a group under this Regulation they shall inform the Minister of the proposal and shall comply with any direction given by him in relation to the proposal or group.

9. An electricity producer who contravenes Regulation 4(1), 5(1), 5(2), 6(2) or 7 of these Regulations, and any person who obstructs or impedes an authorised officer of the Minister performing a power conferred on the officer under Regulation 5(4), shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £300.

GIVEN under my Official Seal, this 2nd day March, 1978.


Minister for Industry, Commerce and Energy.


These regulations give effect to Council Directive of the European Communities of 20 May, 1975 (75/339/EEC). The regulations require that electricity producers shall maintain, at their thermal power stations, a minimum level of fossil fuel to ensure the continuation of electricity supplies for at least 30 days. Such supplies are additional to stocks held under the European Communities (Minimum Stocks of Petroleum Oils) Regulations 1974 to 1977.