State aid: Commission approves EUR450 million Spanish scheme to support gas-intensive manufacturing companies in the context of Russia’s war against Ukraine

The European Commission has approved a €450 million Spanish scheme to support gas-intensive manufacturing companies in the context of Russia’s war against Ukraine. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework, adopted by the Commission on 9 March 2023 to support measures in sectors which are key to accelerate the green transition and reduce fuel dependencies. The new Framework amends and prolongs in part the Temporary Crisis Framework, adopted on 23 March 2022 to enable Member States to support the economy in the context of the current geopolitical crisis, already amended on 20 July 2022 and on 28 October 2022.

Under the scheme, the aid will take form of direct grants. The purpose of the scheme is to mitigate the exceptionally large increases in the price of natural gas incurred by companies operating in gas-intensive sectors, which cannot be passed on to final consumers or with which the beneficiaries are unable to cope.

The Commission found that the Spanish scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework. In particular, the aid (i) will not exceed 50% of the eligible costs for the maximum aid ceiling of €4 million or 40% of the eligible costs for the maximum aid ceiling of €25 million; and (ii) will be granted before 31 December 2023. The Commission concluded that the scheme is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State, in line with Article 107(3)(b) TFEU and the conditions set out in the Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework. On this basis, the Commission approved the scheme under EU State aid rules.

More information on the Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework and other actions taken by the Commission to address the economic impact of Russia’s war against Ukraine and foster the transition towards a net-zero economy can be found here. The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the number SA.106016 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.

(For more information: Arianna Podesta – Tel.: +32 2 298 70 24; Nina Ferreira – Tel.: +32 229 9 81 63; Maria Tsoni – Tel.: +32 2 299 05 26)sp