Liquefied natural gas terminal: the Commission approves State aid granted by Finland

Finland’s decision to cover 30% of the total construction costs of a small scale liquefied natural gas terminal has been considered in line with EU State aid rules.

More specifically, by decision of 18 March 2016 (Case SA.42889), the European Commission found that the project, by making a significant step into reducing CO2 emissions through the supply of a “cleaner” fuel for the transport sector and by improving the security of gas supply in Finland, does not interfere with competition in the Single Market. For this reason the project concerned is to be considered in line with the Guidelines on State aid for environmental protection and energy 2014-2020.

The project involves the construction of a small scale liquefied natural gas terminal in Hamina, on Finland’s South-East coast. The said terminal would become part of a wider project that provides the setting up of a network of liquefied natural gas terminals with the aim of offering liquefied natural gas fueling stations for ships and ensuring an additional source of gas for Finland.

Commission’s assessment showed that the project could not have been carried out without public funding, amounting to € 27.660.000. Moreover, to minimize any possible distortion of competition and trade, the operator of the infrastructure will be under an obligation to provide access to interested users at a regulated price.