In the context of Europa Ship Plan, Europa Venture organized, on Wednesday 08/12/2016, an open discussion on the available Innovative Financial Tools offered by the European Union and the European Investment Bank (EIB). Invited contributors to the open discussion were Mr. Antonguilio Marin, Policy Officer in B2 Unit-Transport Investment of the General Directory for Mobility (DG-MOVE) and Mr. Antonis Papageorgiou, Senior Loan Officer in the Investment Team for Greece of EIB.
The meeting that took place in the offices of the Hellenic Shortsea Shipowners Association (HSSA) attended members of both HSSA and the Association of Passenger Shipping Companies (SEEN).
Both speakers discussed the respective financial tools offered by EU and EIB, described the application procedures and eligibility criteria and answered questions.
More specifically, Mr. Marin referred to the available tools and the procedures through the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), while at the same time presented the newly established Financial Blending tool that combines European grants with private funds. He stressed that from the available funds of the CEF budget, 1,3billion euros, through the call procedure grants can reach up to 20% of the overall budget of projects that promote green shipping or industry’s innovation, provided that private funding is involved in the proposal. The Financial Blending call is expected to be released in January 2017.
On the other hand, Mr. Papageorgiou discussed EIB’s Green Shipping Tool describing the two available options for utilizing it. The first is based in traditional lending of proposals, while the second one on providing guarantees to private banks. Basic difference of the two options is, as he stressed, that in the first case eligible are also projects with smaller budget than the limit budget set by EIB. The sustainability of the project and the credit worthiness of a candidate company are the most important criteria for awarding financing from EIB.
The Europa Ship Plan is eligible to apply for the financial tools of EIB.
Both speakers stressed that the selected proposals will arise from a competitive process and that it should be clear that their individual contribution to European objectives.