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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


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


Veolia's Control of Corsica Ferry Company up to Board Vote

Image: SNCM

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


Valls Urges End to Strike at "Sinking" Ferry Group SNCM

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


EU Investigating Dutch Port Tax Schemes

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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 Govt to End Corsica Ferry Blockades

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.


French Ferry Firm Loses State Aid Appeal

Photo: SNCM

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


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


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


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.


Veolia Retakes Control of Corsica Ferry Company

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


EU Examining Scandlines State Aid Complaint

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 Strategy At Sea Over France-Corsica Ferry Stalemate

  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.






 
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