Finland in a good position to implement the EU programme on alternative propulsion

Ministry of Transport and Communications
Publication date 25.1.2013 9.59
Press release

The European Commission submitted a programme and proposals for legislative instruments on 24 January 2013 on the use of alternative transport fuels. Finland has been expecting the EU proposals and preparatory work at the national level has been underway during the past year.

- We have been at the forefront of the fuel and propulsion issue because getting ready for the future is an essential part of climate protection in the transport sector and crucial for Finland's competitiveness, says Minister of Transport Merja Kyllönen.

Key factors in the EU programme are e.g. common standards for alternative transport fuels, their distribution and information to consumers on compatibility of fuels and the comparability of prices. In addition, the Commission proposes legislative instruments on the availability and distribution of natural gas.

The Commission also proposes that Member States draw up national policy programmes defining objectives and means to promote the use of alternative propulsion methods.

Finnish preparatory work well underway

Preparatory work has been underway in Finland for a long time and national programmes have been under preparation for over a year. During the spring the national maritime transport LNG programme and the final report of the working group on future propulsion methods will be completed.

- An example of our preparatory work is that we received this week the European Commission's approval for our proposal on changes to the state aid programme to help the maritime industry to adapt to stricter sulphur emissions before they take effect. It seems that we have been able to affect the EU proposals for legislative instruments and the programme on alternative fuels as they seem to support Finnish national goals, Minister Kyllönen says and is satisfied with the outcome.

For example, Finland is already implementing the LNG programme now submitted by the Commission. During the spring the national maritime LNG programme will be finalised including e.g. a proposal on investments to increase the use of LNG and a proposal to build LNG infrastructure. On the long term LNG is part of the solution to the stricter sulphur limits of the EU.

- Alternative propulsion will be the next issue to be examined in the government discussion on spending limits and the government will reach a more detailed understanding on measures launched on the basis of the energy and climate strategy and on measures required by the sulphur directive, says Kyllönen.

The period for submitting comments on the proposal for the Finnish maritime LNG programme started on 22 January 2013.

The report of the working group future propulsion methods of the Ministry of Transport and Communications is to be completed by 30 April 2013. The mission of the working group is to assess the future of propulsion alternatives in Finnish transports in 2020 and 2050.

Further information:

Ms Sarianne Hartonen, Special Adviser, tel. +358 295 34 2325
Ms Silja Ruokola, Director of Unit, tel. +358 294 34 2367, +358 40 580 0894