January 27 (SeeNews) - The European Commission (EC) said it has approved Romania's plan to grant up to 2.66 billion euro ($3.04 billion) in restructuring aid to energy company Complexul Energetic Oltenia (CE Oltenia).
The measure, approved under EU state aid rules, will enable the company to finance its restructuring plan and restore its long-term viability without the need of continued state aid, the EC said in a press release on Wednesday.
"The public support comes with safeguards to make sure that possible distortions of competition are kept to the minimum and that the measures will support the EU decarbonisation objectives, in line with the European Green Deal," executive vice-president Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said.
On February 5, the Commission opened an in-depth investigation to assess whether the restructuring plan submitted by Romania in December 2020 and the related restructuring aid measures to support it were in line with EU state aid rules, more specifically the Commission's guidelines on rescue and restructuring aid. During the in-depth investigation, Romania submitted a revised restructuring plan for the company, for the period 2021-2026, with significant modifications and improvements. The plan will be supported by restructuring aid in the form of grants, a state guarantee for a loan, a capital injection, and a loan-to-grant conversion.
The restructuring plan builds on Romania's decarbonisation plans to replace lignite-based electricity production with electricity produced from natural gas and renewables (solar and hydropower).
CE Oltenia is a Romanian public undertaking active in mining, power generation and local heat supply. The company is the third largest producer of electricity in Romania.
($= 0.8867 euro)
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