Gijón, Spain (PortSEurope) April 18, 2018 – Spanish shipping company Baleària Eurolínias Marítimas S.A. has submitted an application for economic aid from the European Union related to the use of low-polluting fuels, specifically the promotion of natural gas in maritime transport.
The company’s project, for which it has requested European subsidies, would allow the company to change the engines of five ferries, one of which would be assigned to operate in March the Motorway of the Sea (MoS) between the ports of Gijón and Nantes.
In its letter of intent presented to the European authorities, the transport company goes hand in hand with the ports of Gijón and Nantes, the port authority of Valencia (Autoridad Portuaria de Valencia – APV) and the company Gas Natural Fenosa and the implicit endorsement of national ports agency Puertos del Estado.
Spokesperson for the company clarified that the aid for the use of the natural gas reach a maximum 20% of the investment, that ascends to €12 million ($14.8 million) per ship. “The aid would be insufficient to start up the maritime connection without having other specific subsidies for the motorways of the sea and destined to cover the deficit of the first four or five years”.
The deadline for applying to the EU funds ends today, and will not be resolved before next October, according to official estimates. It could be delayed if there were no firm decision on the feasibility of relaunching the MoS until at least the fourth quarter of the year.
The line between Gijón and Nantes has been inoperative since September 2014. Baleària already made it clear that its interest in participating in the recovery of the regular connection between Asturias and France would be linked to the renewal of its fleet linked to the future trend of the reduction of polluting emissions.
Baleària Eurolínias Marítimas S.A. is a leading Spanish shipping line in passenger and cargo services to the Balearics, providing daily connections between the islands and the mainland (via the ports of Barcelona, Valencia and Denia), and the only company in the sector to operate inter-island sailings to all four islands of the archipelago. It is also one of the largest operators in the Straits of Gibraltar linking Ceuta and Melilla to mainland ports.
At the international level, Baleària operates the Algeciras-Tangier (Morocco) and Valencia-Mostaganem (Algeria) crossings, also offering services between Fort Lauderdale (Florida, USA) and the island of Grand Bahama, under the Baleària Caribbean brand.
Source: La Nueva España
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