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State Aid

State aid: Formal investigation of power contract in Narvik

14.12.2011

PR(11)77

Today, the EFTA Surveillance Authority, opened a formal investigation in a complaint case concerning a contract between Narvik Municipality and Narvik Energy AS.

The contract, which was concluded in October 2000, transferred the municipality's rights to concession power to Narvik Energi AS for 50,5 years for a fixed price.  After having conducted a preliminary assessment the Authority has doubts as to whether Narvik Energi AS receives state aid through the contract.

In its formal investigation, the Authority will make an in depth assessment as to whether the municipality acted as a market investor when it concluded the contract. If the municipality sold its concession power rights for its market value, on terms acceptable for a private seller, the transaction would not involve state aid. If, however, the municipality sold the asset below market value, this may be regarded as unlawful state aid according to EEA rules.

The decision to open a formal investigation procedure is without prejudice to the final decision of the Auhtority which may conclude that the measures in question are compatible with the EEA Agreement.

The Authority will now call for further comments from the Norwegian authorities and from third parties with an interest in the case. A non-confidential version of the Authority's Decision to open formal investigation will shortly be published on the Authority's website and in the Official Journal of the European Union.

 

For further information, please contact:

Mr. Trygve Mellvang-Berg,
Press & Information Officer
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 66
mob: (+32)(0)492 900 187




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