State aid: Commission approves €6 million of public support to promote shift of freight transport from road to rail in Poland

The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, an individual aid measure to encourage the shift of freight transport from road to rail in the Polish southeastern province of Podkarpackie. The aid takes the form of a €6 million direct grant to the logistic company Treeden Group Sp.z o.o. The aid will contribute to the costs of construction of a transhipment terminal equipped with facilities in the Wola Baranowska station, in Poland, along the broad gauge line No. 65 to Ukraine and to the regional intergovernmental organization “Commonwealth of Independent States” (CIS). This terminal will allow a shift between different modes of transport and storage of bulk materials and containers. The Commission assessed the measure under EU State aid rules. The Commission took into consideration the suboptimal situation of the Podkarpackie Province with regard to intermodal transport and the unique character in Europe of the broad gauge track 65 as an important cargo handling line connecting the Polish with the Ukrainian border. The Commission found that the aid measure promotes the shift of freight transport from road to rail. The measure is also beneficial for the environment and for mobility as it supports rail transport, which is less polluting than road transport, while also decreasing road congestion. In particular, the Commission found that the support measure is necessary, as otherwise market operators would not have sufficient incentives to carry out investments into such infrastructure. On this basis, the Commission concluded that the individual aid measure is  compatible with EU State aid rules, in particular Article 93 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union regarding transport coordination. More information will be available on the Commission’s competition website in the public case register under the case numbers SA.52716 once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.