ANNOUNCEMENT 15 Dec 2009In December 2009, the government of Hungary announced a change in private-sector financial support.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
the letter from the EC to Hungary - Brussels, 27.04.2010 C(2010)2532 final. Available from : < http://ec.europa.eu/competition/elojade/isef/case_details.cfm?proc_code=3_N691_2009 >
On 15 December 2009,the Hungarian authorities notified to the EC the above-mentioned aid measure.
The notified scheme aims at compensating three power generating companies for stranded costs arising from investments in power plants built before the liberalisation of the electricity market that were covered by a guarantee of operation and remuneration offered by Power Purchase Agreements (PPA).
The beneficiaries of the notified scheme are:
- Budapesti Eromu ZRt, a subsidiary of Electricité de France,
- Dunamenti Eromu ZRt, a subsidiary of Gaz de France Suez,
- Pannon Hoeromu ZRt, a subsidiary of Dalkia, whose shareholders are Veolia Environnement, which holds a 66% stake, and Electricité de France, which holds a 34% stake.
The aid amounts granted at the first stage of the implementation of the notified scheme are estimated not to exceed EUR 179 million.
The commission found that the measure constitutes State aid withinthemeaning of Article 107(1) TFEU and gave the followingassessment:
"There is no doubt either that the measure threatens to distort competition and will affect trade between Member States. Indeed, electricity markets have been opened to competition and electricity has been traded between Member States since the entry into force of Directive 96/92/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 December 1996 concerning common rules for the internal market in electricity9. Intra EU flows are all the more important in this case as Hungary is centrally located in Europe, surrounded by seven countries, with which it has six interconnectors. Through three out of those six interconnectors, the Hungarian transmission system is linked to three EU Member States (Austria, Romania and Slovakia). In 2007, Hungary imported 14 680.2 GWh and exported 10 693.6 GWh. Furthermore, the three beneficiaries of the scheme are subsidiaries of large international energy groups which have operations in several Member States. Therefore, the notified scheme threatens to distort competition and will affect trade between Member States." (par. 28 of the letter from the EC to Hungary - Brussels, 27.04.2010 C(2010)2532 final)
The Commission concluded that the notified State aid is compatible with the internal market in application of Article 107 (3) (c) TFEU and has consequently decided not to raise any objections to the measure.
A state measure in the GTA database is assessed solely in terms oftheextent to which its implementation affects the extent ofdiscriminationagainst foreign commercial interests. On this metric,the state aidproposed here is discriminatory.