ANNOUNCEMENT 31 Oct 2013In October 2013, the government of France announced a change in production support.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
Bloomberg, November 5, 2013, 'France's Plan to Give Factories Cheaper Gas Will Start in South': http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-04/france-plans-cheap-gas-for-heavy-users-to-aid-domestic-factories.html
Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, November 4, 2013, Press Release (in French): http://www.developpement-durable.gouv.fr/spip.php?page=article&id_article=35030
Decree no. 2013-972 (in French): http://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/affichTexte.do;jsessionid=?cidTexte=JORFTEXT000028138581&dateTexte=&oldAction=dernierJO&categorieLien=id
On October 31, 2013, France introduced (according to Decree no. 2013-972) a new category of 'gas-intensive' corporations, namely those that consume large quantities of natural gas (more than 4 kWh of gas per euro of added value) and that are exposed to international competition. Those gas-intensive corporations can enjoy 'particular conditions of access to and supply from the transportation and distributions networks of natural gas', in essence meaning lower prices for their natural gas consumption.
According to the press release accompanying the decree, 'the Ministers estimate that maintaining a cheap price of access to energy for the heaviest-consuming industries is not only a matter of competitiveness but also of sovereignty: the eligible gas-intensive corporations (production of glass, chemicals, metallurgy) form the base of French industry'. For that reason, the GTA assesses that the measure almost certainly involves discrimination against foreign commercial interests. UNIDEN, an association of energy-intensive industries, estimates that about 50 corporations might be eligible under the new scheme, mostly in the southern part of the country, where gas prices are higher than in the north.