EU consents rescue assistance for Romanian coal power producer

22/04/2015 00:54 Coal

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The European Commission declared on Tuesday it would permit Romania's leftist government to offer a rescue help estimated at 167 million lei ($40.3 million) to indebted state-owned coal power producer CE Hunedoara to keep it operating for the next six months.

Coal powers approximately 40 percent of Romania's electricity, but mines and plants are out-of-date and in terrible need of investment. As part of the IMF agreements, the government has fused mines and plants to form two integrated electricity holdings, with intentions to denationalize them. CE Hunedoara represents around 5 percent of Romania's power generation. It is indebted and loss-making, but it is the major employer in the western region of Hunedoara with 6,500 employees. Under EU guidelines, firms can obtain state assistance for maximum six months. They should then either return the funds or present a restructuring plan for authorization.

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