Yesterday the European Commission decided that aid provided to the public Spanish shipyards is not in line with EC rules on State aid to shipbuilding. The Commission has established that State holding company Sociedad Estatal de Participaciones Industriales (SEPI), in 1999 and 2000, granted aid worth €500 million to the civil public shipyards that are today all owned by IZAR. The aid took the form of a capital injection, loans and a purchase price above market value. As the loans amounting to € 192.1 million to SEPI were paid back, the sum to be reimbursed will amount to € 308.3 million, plus interest. The object the decision are a number of transactions that took place between 1999 and 2000 involving SEPI and its subsidiaries Astilleros Españoles (AESA), the former holding company of the public shipyards, and Bazán, the military shipbuilding group. Since the Commission suspected that these transactions might have contained state aid, it opened a formal investigation in July 2000, was extended in November 2001 and extended again in May 2003. Based on the facts that have been established during the formal investigation the Commission concludes that the state holding company SEPI undertook the following transactions, which entailed further state aid to the public Spanish shipyards: An excess purchase price paid by SEPI when AESA sold three shipyards to SEPI in 1999
The European Commission has approved, under the terms of the EC Treaty’s rules allowing Member States to take measures to protect essential security interests linked to defence industries (Article 296 of the EC Treaty), a reorganisation of the Spanish public military shipyards. These yards were formerly owned by IZAR but have recently been taken over by a new company called Navantia. The solution allows Spain to protect its essential security interests by rescuing its military shipyards
On September 17, The European Commission opened a detailed investigation with a view to examining an aid package which the French Government has put together in support of the Alstom group. At the same time, it found that the conditions are met for adopting an order suspending implementation of and/or payment for the acquisition by the French State of a stake in Alstom and the provision of a subordinated loan. The Commission wishes, however
The European Union unveiled new rules for assessing aid to the bloc's shipbuilding sector on Wednesday, hailing the reform as intended to help foster innovation in an industry facing tough global competition, according to a Reuters report. The new rules will go into force from Jan 1 next year and extends the scope of current regulations to inland waterway vessels, floating and moving offshore structures while refining rules on innovation aid.
State aid for financial bail-out of P+S Werften temporarily approved by the European Commission The European Commission has authorised under EU state aid rules, a state guarantee backing a rescue loan of €152.4 million for the German shipbuilder P+S Werften in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The aid is in line with EU rules on rescue aid because it is limited in time and scope. The Commission approved the measure temporarily
European Union state aid regulators have ordered Greece to recover certain illegal fiscal benefits granted to Piraeus Container Terminal (PCT) and its parent company Cosco Pacific Ltd. The European Commission said the measures, which breached EU rules, included tax exemptions and preferential accounting treatment. "The companies now need to pay back the advantage received to the Greek state. To avoid further distortions of competition
The prime minister of the German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania asked the European Commission to ease capacity limits imposed on eastern German shipyards as a condition for receiving state aid grants. State premier Harald Ringstorff told EU Competition Commissioner Mario Monti an increase would prevent the yards' improved productivity leading to further job losses. "Any such proposal will be looked at with the utmost care and attention
European Union (EU) shipyards will continued to receive government financial aid until March 31, 2005, Reuters reported. The decision extends by one year an arrangement whereby state aid equal to six percent of a contract can be given to EU makers of container ships, chemical and product tankers and Liquefied Natural Gas carriers. The EU has taken South Korea to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), alleging the country is effectively dumping ships on the world market by subsidising its
On account of applicable Norwegian Government tax changes Statoil as operator has recommended a delay of the investment decision for the Johan Castberg project in the Norwegian Barents Sea. Statoil has continued to mature the resource base and development plans for the project. There are still uncertainties related to the resource estimate and investment level. "In addition, the Norwegian government has recently proposed reduced uplift in the petroleum tax system
Government representatives on the board of Corsica ferry operator SNCM will vote on Monday to decide whether Veolia can retake control of the troubled business. The vote is tricky for the government as siding with Veolia could lead to protests by SNCM unions in Marseille ahead of European elections in two weeks. Veolia wants to put loss-making SNCM (Societe Nationale Maritime Corse Mediterranee) under court protection to shield it from a European Commission order to repay 440 million
European Union state aid regulators have ordered Greece to recover certain illegal fiscal benefits granted to Piraeus Container Terminal (PCT) and its parent company Cosco Pacific Ltd, says a report in Reuters. The European Commission found that Greece inappropriately granted tax
The former operator of Portugal's largest shipyard Estaleiros Navais de Viana do Castelo (ENVC) must pay back around 290 million euros ($329.79 million) in public support, the European Commission said on Thursday. It said the new operator WestSea did not need to pay the money as it purchased
Tomorrow 23rd June international law firm Hill Dickinson LLP will be holding its UK Ports Conference focusing on ‘The Future of UK Ports: changing regulation, shipping trend updates and new opportunities in the supply chain’.
The European Commission has approved under EU state aid rules Finland's plans to grant €23 million to construct a small scale LNG terminal at Pori on Finland's west coast. The European Commission has concluded that Finland's plans to grant €23 million of public funding for
French transport firm Transdev expects to return to profit this year, but sees no quick solution for its troubled Mediterranean ferry unit SNCM, which is blocking a reshuffle in Transdev shareholdings between Veolia and state-owned bank CDC.
The board of France-Corsica ferry operator SNCM on Monday voted out its chief executive who had sided with trade unions, allowing shareholder Veolia to retake control and restructure the loss-making firm. Veolia wants to put Societe Nationale Corse Mediterranee under court protection to shield
European Union regulators are examining a complaint by ferry group Scandlines accusing Danish authorities of giving billions of euros in illegal state subsidies to state-owned builder Femern A/S to build a tunnel between Denmark and Germany.
Veolia Environnement, a global leader in water and waste management, has a little local difficulty: an ailing France-Corsica ferry operator that weighs on its shares, gives its CEO nightmares and puts the brakes on its strategic plans.
Workers at France-Corsica ferry operator SNCM must end their strike and let the troubled company undergo a restructuring to secure its future, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Tuesday. Loss-making SNCM, whose unions have been on strike since June 24
Taxation of Dutch ports could breach EU competition rules. France, Belgium warned over their tax treatment of ports; EU executive could broaden investigation to other EU ports. The European Union's competition watchdog on Wednesday opened an investigation into tax exemptions granted to ports in
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Wednesday he would take steps "within hours" to end blockades of ports in Marseille and Corsica by workers of the SNCM ferry operator, who are striking over the firm's restructuring plans.
Cash-strapped ferry operator SNCM looks set to seek legal protection from its creditors after Europe's highest court ruled on Thursday it must pay back 220 million euros ($289 million) of French state aid. SNCM, owned 66 percent by transport group Transdev
Austria will take the European Commission to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) if it approves Britain's plans for a 16 billion-pound ($26 billion) nuclear power plant, a spokesman for the chancellor said on Sunday. The deal to pay a guaranteed price for the power produced in the plant faces
France-Corsica ferry operator SNCM will file for court protection next week, a source close to the company told Reuters on Wednesday, which will clear the way for its shareholder Veolia to restructure its transport division. Water and waste firm Veolia and the French state
France-Corsica ferry operator SNCM has suspended payments to creditors and will file for court protection on Tuesday, the firm said in a statement late on Monday. Majority-owned by public transport firm Transdev, which is owned by water firm Veolia and French state bank CDC