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State Aid

State Aid: Investigates aid from Innovation Norway to Finnfjord AS

13.11.2013

PR(13)83

The EFTA Surveillance Authority has decided to open an in-depth investigation with regard to additional aid from Innovation Norway to Finnfjord AS.

The notified aid concerns a direct grant of NOK 16 million from Innovation Norway to  Finnfjord to cover additional costs related to an energy saving project.

The project consisted in replacing the existing cooling system with an energy recovery unit. Finnfjord has already received NOK 175 million in state aid from Enova SF for the financing of that project. The aid from Enova was approved by the Authority in 2011.

However, the project proved to be more expensive than anticipated, and Finnfjord therefore applied to Enova for additional aid. Enova rejected the application on the grounds that the aid would not provide Finnfjord with an incentive to do more for the environment than it would have without the aid.

Finnfjord thereafter applied for additional aid from Innovation Norway, which was approved in the form of grant of NOK 16 million alongside with a loan of NOK 18 million.

After a preliminary assesment, the Authority has doubts as to the necessity and the incentive effect of the measure, i.e. whether the aid actually contributes to changing the behaviour of the beneficiary so the level of environmental protection is increased.

The decision to open a formal investigation procedure is without prejudice to the final decision of the Authority. 

The Authority will now call for further comments from the Norwegian authorities and third parties with an interest in the case. A non-confidential version of the Authority's Decision to open the 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:

Andreas Kjeldsberg Pihl
Press and Information Officer
Tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 66
Mob. (+32)(0)492 900 187




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