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State Aid

State aid: Aid for Alcoa to demonstrate a new aluminium production technology



EN  | NO

Today, the EFTA Surveillance Authority (“ESA”) has approved a grant of up to NOK 280.5 million (approx. EUR 29 million) to Alcoa Norway ANS for a demonstration project in Norway.

The project aims to demonstrate a novel zero-emission Advanced Smelting Technology (“AST”) for aluminium production. The final objective will be to replace the current Hall-Héroult process, which is more than 100 years old. The new AST technology differs from the conventional process, and in particular avoids all direct CO2 emissions. Furthermore, the AST technology will allow a more competitive aluminium production, by reducing the production costs, in particular the energy consumption.

Innovation in green technologies needs to be supported. The EEA needs innovation to maintain growth and face the major environmental challenges, such as climate change. This is not the first time that ESA has approved this kind of aid and we welcome more good, green projects,” Mr. Sven Erik Svedman, President of the Authority, said.

The aid will be granted by Enova under the new technology programme, which forms part of the Energy Fund scheme as approved by the Authority in July 2011. The grant had to be individually notified to ESA for a detailed assessment because of the amount of aid.

In its assessment, ESA concluded that the project suffers from a funding gap and would not be pursued absent the aid measure. Furthermore, the level of public funding is below the maximum aid intensity of 50% under the Energy Fund scheme. There are also mechanisms to prevent overcompensation in case the investment costs are subject to changes. Finally, the new technology will be available to third parties once it has been successfully verified in the demonstration plant. ESA thus raised no objections to the proposed measure under the EEA state aid rules.

A non-confidential version of the decision will be published in the register of state aid decisions on ESA's website, normally within a month.

For further information, please contact:

Mr. Andreas Kjeldsberg Pihl
Press & Information Officer
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 66
mob. (+32)(0)492 900 187

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