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PR(05)39: The EFTA Surveillance Authority accepts the Norwegian Gassnova aid scheme

30.11.2005

The EFTA Surveillance Authority decided today not to raise objections to a new Norwegian aid scheme for strengthening research and development concerning gas technologies with improved environmental performance (Gassnova).

The principal objective of the scheme is to strengthen the intensity of research and development concerning gas-fired power stations with carbon dioxide capture and storage in order to reduce CO2emissions from such power-stations. Carbon free gas-fired power stations are facilities in which carbon dioxide is separated and captured before, during or after the electricity generating process. An important objective for the scheme is to develop more cost-efficient solutions for carbon dioxide separation.

Funding under the Gassnova scheme may be granted for fundamental research, industrial research and precompetitive development. In addition, feasibility studies qualify for aid under the scheme.

The Gassnova aid scheme will be financed through annual dividends of a dedicated fund of NOK 2 billion (approximately Euro 253 million) set up by the Norwegian Parliament to this end.

For further information, please contact:

Mr. Amund Utne, Director, Competition and State Aid Directorate
Tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 51; or
Ms. Marie Wiersholm, National Expert, Competition and State Aid Directorate
Tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 65.

30 November 2005




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