Environmental investment aid granted to shipping companies
The Finnish Ministry of Transport and Communications has allocated a total of 12.6 million euros in government aid to eight shipping companies and their 45 vessels to be used on investments that improve the level of environmental protection. The subsidies are intended to cover the investment costs arising from retrofitting vessels with new devices and modified fuel systems.
A budget authority of 30 million euros was allocated in the 2013 budget to subsidise the cost of investments in new devices that will be installed in the currently used vessels to improve the level of environmental protection. In September, 19 million euros of these subsidies were distributed. After the decision had been made to award this sum, the shipping companies returned 11.7 million euros of subsidies that had already been granted. In total, the government has allocated 20.3 million euros in subsidies for environmental investments.
Subsidies have been granted to ESL Shipping, Tallink Silja Oy, Eckerö Shipping, Finnlines Oyj, Bore Oy Ab, Godby Shipping Ab, Oy Langh Ship Ab and Containerships Ltd. Investments must be made this year.
In the second round of applications shipping companies applied for a total of 37 million euros in subsidies.
In accordance with requirements set by the European Commission, in addition to actual investment expenses the evaluation of the applications took into account additional annual costs and additional profit for a five year period after the investment.
Not all the costs reported by the applicants have been regarded as suitable for subsidies as they are not in line with the application instructions from the Ministry or with EU guidelines for environmental subsidies. One application was withdrawn during the process.
After the second application round, the majority of Finland's merchant fleet is now within the scope of environmental investment subsidies
The volume of sulphur dioxide emissions in Finland's territorial waters has fluctuated from one year to another ranging from approximately 30,600 metric tons to approximately 48,600 metric tons. At the change of the year the sulphur emissions of vessels entered into the Finnish Register of Ships will decline to one tenth.
Mr Tero Jokilehto, Director of the Transport Market Unit, tel. +358 295 34 2568