EU Okays Investment in Romanian Port
The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, Romania's plans to grant EUR27.4 million investment aid to the Port of Galați, the largest sea-river port in the country.
In April 2019, Romania notified the Commission of its plan to grant investment aid to the Port of Galați. The project consists of building a new multimodal platform with a capacity of 150,000 TEU/year in the area called Port Bazinul Nou.
The total investment cost amounts to €89.9 million. It will be co-financed by the Romanian State, regional funds allocated via the Large Infrastructure Operational Program (LIOP) and private money coming from concessionaires of the platform, as well as directly by the Connecting Europe Facility, a key EU funding instrument.
The project includes, in particular, the upgrading of the quay and the building of the required infrastructure for a modern intermodal terminal. The newly created logistic node will promote the shift from road transport to railway and inland waterways/maritime transport on the Rhine-Danube Trans-European Transport corridor, fulfilling an objective of EU common interest.
The Commission also found that the aid was necessary, proportionate and that the distortion of competition will be limited, given the relatively small-to-medium size of the Port of Galați, with limited transport volumes at EU level.
Furthermore, according to traffic growth forecasts, the slight capacity increase created by the project would be offset by the increase in demand, mainly stemming from other road based flows transport routes on the Rhine-Danube territory.
On this basis, the Commission concluded that the investment aid is compatible with EU rules, which allow State aid for the development of certain economic activities, provided that it does not unduly affect trade and competition in the Single Market.