ITALY: Commission approves environmental aid to steel companies

The European Commission has approved aid of euro 7 million which Italy will grant for environmental protection to four steel companies: ILVA Laminati Piani; Acciaierie di Cornigliano; ICMI; and Acciai Speciali Terni.

The aid will help to adapt certain installations which date back to the 70s and certain premises with the aim of improving the ecological and environmental conditions ensuing from production processes. The impact of these processes in terms of noise, water, air and soil pollution will be reduced and brought in line with current legislation while some projects will even go beyond current regulatory standards in line with the relevant EU guidelines.

The case was uncertain because EU guidelines prohibit aid which results in savings in terms of production costs. While certain notified initiatives do entail savings, in particular connected with the recycling of acids, this benefit has been deducted from the original figure for eligible investments. The Commission therefore concluded that the aid meets the EU conditions for the approval of environmental aid measures.

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