EU News
Printable version

State aid: Commission approves €10 billion Finnish scheme to support electricity producers in the context of Russia's war against Ukraine

The European Commission has approved a €10 billion Finnish loan guarantee scheme to support energy producers in the context of Russia's war against Ukraine. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Crisis Framework, adopted by the Commission on 23 March 2022, and amended on 20 July 2022, based on Article 107(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (‘TFEU'), recognising that the EU economy is experiencing a serious disturbance.

Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, recently said:

“In the context of economic uncertainty caused by the current geopolitical crisis, this €10 billion loan guarantee scheme will enable Finland to provide liquidity support to electricity producers, allowing them to continue their activities. We continue to stand with Ukraine and its people. At the same time, we continue working closely with Member States to ensure that national support measures can be put in place in a timely, coordinated and effective way, while protecting the level playing field in the Single Market.”

The Finnish liquidity support measure

Finland notified to the Commission, under the Temporary Crisis Framework, a €10 billion loan guarantee scheme to provide last-resort liquidity support to electricity producers in the context of Russia's war against Ukraine.

The measure will be open to (i) electricity producers with a production capacity of at least 100 MW; and (ii) other producers with regional importance, significance or criticality in electricity markets.  

A significant proportion of Finnish energy producers have traditionally used derivative contracts to hedge themselves against future price drops. The adverse price movements caused by the current geopolitical crisis have required these companies to post significant amounts of additional cash collateral. The measure aims at providing electricity producers with a last-resort financing option, ensuring that sufficient liquidity remains available to them.

Under the scheme, the loans will be granted directly by the Ministry of Finance. The eligible loans must relate to working capital needs, with a maximum maturity of two years. 

The maximum loan amount per beneficiary cannot exceed the liquidity needs derived from the projected additional collateral requirements for the coming 12 months. Furthermore, the eligible beneficiaries are required to submit documentary evidence of their liquidity needs based on their hedging activities, which will be verified by the Ministry of Finance.

The Commission found that the Finnish scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Crisis Framework. In particular, (i) the maturity of the loans does not exceed eight years; (ii) loans granted under the measure relate only to working capital needs; (iii) the annual interest rates respect the minimum levels set out in the Temporary Crisis Framework; (iv) the maximum loan amount per beneficiary respect the conditions set out in the Temporary Crisis Framework; and, (v) the guarantees will be granted by 31 December 2022 at the latest.

The Commission therefore concluded that the Finnish guarantee scheme is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State, in line with Article 107(3)(b) TFEU and the conditions set out in the Temporary Crisis Framework.

On this basis, the Commission approved the aid measure under EU State aid rules.

Click here for the full press release

 

Original article link: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_22_5994

Share this article

Latest News from
EU News

Webinar Recording: Derby City Council AI Transformation Showcase Webinar