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State Aid

State aid: Green light given for aid to Elkem AS



Today, the EFTA Surveillance Authority approved the granting of NOK 350 million (approx. EUR 44 million) in aid to Elkem AS for an energy recovery system.The grant will be made under the Norwegian Energy Fund Scheme (Energifondsordningen)[1].

Due to its high amount, the aid had to be cleared by the Authority under the EEA state aid rules. These rules allow the EEA States to support environmental objectives where, on balance, the environmental benefits outweigh potential distortions of competition.

Elkem is one of Europe's leading producers of silicon. Elkem also produces microsilica which is a by-product of the silicon production process. The production process generates a high amount of heat which is currently not used for energy production or any other useful purpose. The aid will enable Elkem to install an energy recovery system to generate 300 GWh of electricity per year. The electricity will be used in Elkem's production process.

The Authority has found that the positive effect of increasing energy savings outweighs the limited effect on trade and competition. The aid is limited to the amount necessary to trigger the investment, and also provides an incentive effect since the project would not be commercially viable without the aid. Finally, the structures of the silicon and microsilica markets are unlikely to be altered by the grant of aid.

For further information, please contact:

Mr. Per Andreas Bjørgan
Director, Competition and State Aid Directorate
Tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 36

[1] Scheme approved in 2011 (Decision No 248/11/COL).

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