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August 15, 2022
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Government approves memorandum to support large energy consumers

The Government approved on Thursday, at the proposal of the Ministry of Energy, the Memorandum regarding the initiation of a state aid scheme to support companies in sectors and sub-sectors exposed to a significant risk of relocation due to the transfer of the cost of greenhouse gas emissions in the price for electricity in the period 2021-2030, according to a press release of the Ministry.

“We are looking for solutions to continue the financial support we have given for the past two years to the large energy consumers. Especially in the current context, I think it is necessary to continue this state aid scheme. Through the memorandum approved today [Thursday – editor’s note], the Ministry of Energy has been empowered to negotiate with the European Commission. Through the scheme meant for the energy-intensive industries we want to make sure that we provide the necessary conditions to the Romanian enterprises to remain competitive in Europe and in the world, we want to make sure that the final industrial consumer can bear the increase in the electricity prices, preventing thus the negative social effect that a limited industrial activity could have. Moreover, we want to keep the approximately 200,000 direct and indirect jobs, limiting unemployment and maintaining a highly skilled workforce in those industrial sectors,” said Virgil Popescu, Minister of Energy.

The Ministry of Energy is empowered to initiate discussions and carry out prior consultation procedures with representatives of the European Commission – DG Competition, to establish the essential conditions for initiating and authorizing a state aid scheme for companies in sectors considered to be at real risk of relocation, due to the significant impact of the transfer of the costs of greenhouse gas emissions in the price of electricity, starting in 2022.

Between 2019 and 2021, a state aid scheme was implemented in Romania to support companies in sectors and sub-sectors exposed to a significant risk of relocation, as a result of the transfer of the cost of greenhouse gas emissions to the price of electricity, according with the provisions of the Government Emergency Ordinance no. 81/2019.

The total value of the state aid for 2019 was 399.4 million lei for a number of 34 enterprises, respectively 637.6 million lei, for a number of 33 enterprises in 2020.

 

Decision for investment project worth 227 million lei regarding the Port of Constanta approved by Government

 

On Thursday, the government passed a decision re-approving technical and economic indicators for an investment project worth 227 million lei regarding the Port of Constanta, according to governmental spokesperson Dan Carbunaru.

“Today, a government decision was adopted to re-approve the technical and economic indicators of the investment project ‘Upgrading port infrastructure by securing bigger depths of the sea canals and the basins and safe of navigation in the Port of Constanta.’ The value of the investment amounts to 227 million lei, VAT included,” said Carbunaru.

He mentioned that the investment project entails “dredging works in order to bring to a designed level the basins and canals in the port of Constanta in the areas covered by the pre-feasibility study, further deepening the port basin and acquiring a hydrographic system, including a ship for measurements.”

Funds are provided from external financial grants under the 2014-2020 Operational Programme Large Infrastructure and part of the national budget allotted to the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, with the project being included in Romania’s General Transport Master Plan, added Carbunaru.

 

Carbunaru: Gov’t to increase standard costs per ante-pre-school/pre-school/school age children this year

 

The government approved, on Thursday, the increase of standard costs per ante-pre-school/pre-school/school-age children for 2022, the value of the coefficient 1 for salary expenses reaching 6,386 lei, and the one for material expenses reaching 485 lei, the spokesperson for the Executive, Dan Carbunaru, informed on Thursday.

“The government has established an increase in standard costs per ante-pre-school, pre-school and school-age children, which will be taken into account this year to ensure the necessary funds for the payment of increased salaries in the education system and for the better financing of material expenditures. The value of the coefficient 1 for the current year for salary expenses will increase by 4.5pct compared to last year, respectively will reach from 6,111 lei to 6,386 lei, while the value of the coefficient 1 for this year for material expenses will increase by 7.8pct compared to last year, respectively from 450 to 485 lei,” Carbunaru specified after the Executive meeting.

He said that, based on these values, the necessary amounts will be allocated to finance the salary and material expenses, respectively.

Asked if this means that teachers’ salaries will be increased, Carbunaru mentioned that discussions with representatives of education federations continue in order to reach “the most feasible formula for understanding from a salary perspective.”

 

Gov’t approves additional 3.84mill for digital skills programme for SME workers

 

At its Thursday’s meeting, the government approved approximately 3.84 million lei in additional funds for the National Digital Skills Programme for employees in the small and medium-sized enterprises.

The decision was taken by amending Government Ordinance 599/2020 approving a national digital skills programme for employees in the small and medium-sized enterprises sector funded under the 2014-2020 Operational Programme Human Capital.

“The approved piece of legislation adds approximately 3.84 million lei to the allocations for the National Digital Skills Programme for employees in the small and medium-sized enterprises sector. The initial allocation of 96.6 million lei will increase to 100.48 million lei, which will allow funding for all 22 projects found eligible after check and selection. The implementation of this state-aid scheme contributes to the economic recovery in the wake of the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, through the development of digital skills at the level of SME employees.”

 

Gov’t has approved two state-aid schemes in energy area, worth 82 M euros

 

On Thursday, the government approved two aid schemes in the field of energy, amounting to 82 million euros, with the potential beneficiaries being the energy-producers and the administrative-territorial units or inter-community development associations that build or upgrade power plants, informs the spokesman for the Executive, Dan Carbunaru.

“In terms of energy, managing the effects of the energy crisis remains one of the main concerns of the Government. In addition to the immediate measures, the Government has approved regulations today that will put in place elements to support the economy. In this regard, the government has approved today to continue two state aid schemes in the field of energy until the end of 2023. These are aid schemes financed from national and European funds. They are meant, on the one hand, to support investments capitalizing on the renewable energy and energy efficiency sources, stimulating thus the use of less exploited sources, such as biomass, biogas, geothermal,” said Carbunaru after the government meeting.

The second state aid scheme aims to support investments in high-efficiency cogeneration in order to reduce fuel consumption and avoid thus carbon emissions from fossil fuels.

He noted that the government had also approved a memorandum outlining “concrete steps” to extend aid schemes for large energy consumers. The Ministry of Energy is empowered to carry out prior consultation procedures with the representatives of the European Commission in order to continue the state aid scheme.

The decision adopted by the Government refers to the approval of the state aid scheme supporting investments aimed at promoting the production of energy from less exploited renewable sources, namely biomass, biogas, geothermal energy, and the state aid scheme to support investments in high-efficiency cogeneration.

“The two state aid schemes apply until December 31, 2023, and the amounts are allocated from European non-reimbursable funds provided by the European Regional Development Fund in a proportion of 85pct and public co-financing funds provided from the state budget – 15pct,” reads the Government in a press release.

According to the same source, the estimated budget of the state aid scheme meant to support investments that capitalize on renewable energy sources and energy efficiency is 21 million euros, and that of the state aid scheme meant to support investments in high-efficiency cogeneration is worth approximately 61 million euros.

 

Compiled from Agerpres

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