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State Aid

EC: Spanish Shipyards Owe €308.3M

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


EC Approves Spanish Yard Restructure

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


EU Shipbuilding Aid Extended to 2005

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


EC Investigation of Proposed French Support of Shipyard

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


EU Shipbuilding Aid: New Rules Unveiled

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.


Rescue Aid for German Shipbuilder Approved by EC

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


EC Extends Shipbuilding Subsidies to LNG Carriers

The European Commission (EC) has decided to extend the granting of temporary and limited state aids in the shipbuilding sector to liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers. The action is being taken to offset perceived subsidies by South Korea to its shipyards. EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy said: "Today's decision offers a temporary relief to European LNG shipyards which are facing serious difficulties, while Korea continues to price ships below cost


Commission Authorizes Italian State Aid

The Commission has decided to authorize an Italian aid scheme granting an incentive to shipowners for the elimination of single hull tankers over 20 years of age. Strict conditions regarding the promotion of the use of double tankers have been specified in the aid scheme. The Commission welcomes the objective of the proposed aid, which aims at implementing Community maritime safety legislation and achieving higher safety standards in maritime shipping, prior to it becoming mandatory.


East Germany Shipyards Seek Quota Break

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


Statoil Delays Norwegian Barents Sea Project

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


German Ship Bank HSH Needs More Aid

By Jan Schwartz, Reuters Troubled German public-sector bank HSH Nordbank will likely need more state aid than previously thought due to deep losses in shipping lending and back taxes, the bank's supervisory board chairman said. The bank, one of the world's biggest shipping financiers


Struggling SNCM Ferry Operator to Order 4 Ships

Photo: SNCM

Reuters - Loss-making France-Corsica ferry operator SNCM, which is partly owned by French water and waste group Veolia Environnement, plans to order four new ships, an SNCM spokesman said on Friday. The spokesman said the board had approved deals for four new ferries


German Investor Eyes Burgas Shipyards

Source: novinite.com First Investment Bank, the main creditor of the Burgas Shipyards AD, has expressed interest in handing over management of the company to a German investor. Radoslav Valchev, a representative of the Bulgarian office of the German company


Transdev Sees Return to Profit, Ferry Unit Blocks Veolia Deal

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.


Annual Great Lakes & Seaway Aids to Navigation Retrieval Starts

The Ninth Coast Guard District begins its annual retrieval of the Great Lakes & St. Lawrence Seaway System seasonal aids to navigation before ice forms. In a massive task Operation Fall Retrieve, which includes lighted and unlighted buoys and beacons has begun


MEBA Calls for Food For Peace Funding

The Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association calls for the protection of U.S. maritime and agricultural jobs. The Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (M.E.B.A.) stands with 21 U.S. Senators and its United States maritime industry partners in protecting thousands of U.S


Singapore & Malacca Straits Aids to Navigation Meetings

Singapore to chair the Aids to Navigation Fund (ANF) Committee from 2013 to 2015, & hosts the 10th Meeting of the ANF Committee. The ANF, one of the three pillars under the Co-operative Mechanism on Safety of Navigation and Environmental Protection in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore


Proposed Changes to 'Food for Peace' Program Resisted

Food Aid: Image credit USA Maritime

USA Maritime, a coalition of ship owning companies, maritime labor organizations & maritime trade associations states its position. USA Maritime Chairman James L. Henry corrects reports about the efficacy of the U.S. Merchant Marine in delivering U.S


Greece's Cruise Port Gets EU Extension Grant

Port of Piraeus: Photo credit Wiki CCL

The European Commission has found a €113.9 million Greek support for an infrastructure project of €120 million at the Port of Piraeus to be in line with EU state aid rules. The EU's official gazette 'Europa' reports that the EU Commission found that the project will further the


Coast Guard, Partners Perfom Simulated Oil Spill

Coast Guard Sector Anchorage, Alaska, personnel along with members of agency partners.

Coast Guard Sector Anchorage personnel along with federal, state, local, tribal partners and industry representatives conducted mutual aid drills in Anchorage and Deadhorse, Wednesday. During the drill, participants tested their ability to establish a Unified Command


Moore Stephens Welcomes EC's State Aid Decision

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International accountant and shipping adviser Moore Stephens has welcomed a decision by the European Commission to keep in place in their current form the guidelines relating to state aid to maritime transport, which include EU tonnage tax regimes


EU State Aid Guidelines Welcomed by Shipowners, Not by Union

The shipping industry has welcomed a decision by the European Commission to keep in place unchanged guidelines relating to state aid to maritime transport, which include tonnage tax regimes, but seafarers' union Nautilus sees it differently, according to the UK maritime industry's latest 'Maritime


Aids to Navigation GLA 2015 Review: Mariner Input Sought

Image courtesy of Trinity House

The General Lighthouse Authorities (GLA) will be undertaking a review of Aids to Navigation provision around the coasts of Ireland and Great Britain during 2014. The GLA consider good quality user input to be an essential component of this review


State Aid to Saremar Ruled Illegal

After an in-depth investigation, the European Commission has concluded that part of the support measures that Sardinia had granted to the maritime company Saremar in 2011 and 2012 was incompatible with EU state aid rules. In particular, a capital injection not approved on market conditions and the


Pella Shipyard Buys Sietas Shipyard

From left: Frank Horch, Hamburg’s Senator for Economy, Garegin G. Tsaturov, Coowner of Pella Shipyard, Natallia Dean, Managing Director Terraline, and Berthold Brinkmann, Insolvency Administrator of Sietas Shipyard

After an intensive search of over two years, the insolvency administrator, Berthold Brinkmann, has found a strategic investor for the renowned Sietas Shipyard in Hamburg: Pella Shipyard from Otradnoye near St. Petersburg, Russia is taking over the company as of March 10, 2014


 
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