Martedì, 23 Ottobre 2018
BRUSSELS

EU OKs energy breaks for Alcoa in Sicily, Sardinia

English
© ANSA

(ANSA) - Brussels, October 3 - The European Commission
approved on Wednesday the extension until 2015 of certain energy
discounts for companies such as US aluminium giant Alcoa
operating in Sardinia and Sicily.
The commission concluded that the discounts are still
necessary, are remunerated at market value, and therefore do not
constitute state aid.
But Joaquin Almunia, EU Antitrust Commissioner, made clear
that the extension is based on current market conditions
continuing.
In a press release, the Commissioner explained the
discounts are related to agreements with large electricity
consumers that accept cuts in their energy service without
notice.
In 2010, Brussels had previously approved the energy
discounts, noting that service interruptions are common in
Sicily and Sardinia, despite improvements made to the
electricity grids on the two islands.
Italy has said that there will be a new energy auction
system put in place, so the extension is limited to the end of
2015.
Deeper and broader energy price breaks have become
contentious recently.
Alcoa has already announced plans to close its aluminium
smelter on Sardinia, triggering work protests and an intense
hunt to find a buyer.
Global giant Glencore was interested in taking over the
smelter in Portovesme, but last month pulled out, saying the
energy costs were too high.
The government is said to be reviewing other proposals.

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