The European Commission has approved an approximately €3 billion Austrian scheme to support companies facing increased energy costs in the context of Russia's war against Ukraine.
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Austria notified to the Commission, under the Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework, an approximately €3 billion scheme to support companies facing increased energy costs in the context of Russia's war against Ukraine.
The scheme consists of two measures: limited amounts of aid to compensate companies for the cost increase of various energy sources; and aid for additional costs due to exceptional natural gas and electricity price increases.
Under both measures, the aid will take the form of direct grants.
The measure will be open to companies of all sizes and sectors, with the exception of credit and financial institutions among other sectors.
The Commission found that the Austrian scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework.
In particular, for the first measure, the aid will not exceed €250,000 per beneficiary active in the primary production of agricultural products and €2 million per beneficiary active in any other eligible sector.
For the second measure, the overall aid per beneficiary will not exceed 50% of the eligible costs, up to a maximum of €4 million.
The beneficiaries may receive further aid, not exceeding 40% of the eligible costs and up to a maximum of €100 million. Energy-intensive companies may receive aid up to 65% of the eligible costs for the maximum aid ceiling of €50 million.
In addition, those energy-intensive companies that are active in particularly affected sectors, will be entitled to receive aid up to 80% of the eligible costs for the maximum aid ceiling of €150 million.
Under both measures, the aid will be granted no later than 31 December 2023.
Furthermore, the aid is subject to conditions to limit undue distortions of competition, including safeguards to ensure that companies benefiting from higher aid amounts and intensities implement the recommendations of mandatory energy audit reports. ■