Kostis Hatzidakis: Large investments- Resources 5 billion. euro- Tax incentives the key components
In public consultation on the website opengov.gr(http://www.opengov.gr/minenv/?p=11202) The Fair Development Transition Plan was launched (masterplan) of the lignite areas of Western Macedonia and Megalopolis, whose basic principles were presented in September. The public consultation will last until 10 November 2020.
The masterplan is based on five pillars of development (clean energy, industry, handicrafts and trade, smart agricultural production, sustainable tourism, technology and education), in line with EU policy objectives for a smarter one, greener, a more connected and more social Europe. Its main priority is to attract productive investment in lignite areas and create sustainable jobs that will cover those that will be lost due to de-lignification..
After the completion of the public consultation, the final master plan - to be approved by the Council of Ministers- will be the basis for the new Fair Transition Operational Program 2021-2027 (to be submitted to the European Commission as part of the process of approving the new NSRF) which will specify the necessary conditions for the development of new activities in lignite areas.
Alongside, A draft law is being prepared with the aim of the rapid implementation of the masterplan that will be included, including, provisions that will ensure the effective involvement of local communities. The incentives that the country will introduce after the approval by the services of the European Commission will also be presented.
particularly, the proposal which is being processed for approval by the competent institutions (national and European) provides for the following:
-For the Regional Units of Kozani, It is estimated that Florina and Tripoli, in terms of incentives for new investments, the total amount of aid needs to be increased to 60% for large companies, 70% for the middle and 80% for the little ones.
-For the other areas of the Region of Western Macedonia and Megalopolis, the proposal is to provide for a maximum reinforcement of its order 40% for large companies, 50% for medium and 60% for small.
Through the proposed incentives it will be possible to make the most of all available sources of funding, including the three pillars of the Fair Transition Mechanism (Fair Transit Fund, InvestEU, public sector lending facility), as well as other sources, domestic and European.
The Minister of Environment and Energy, Kostis Hatzidakis, he stated: "The master plan that was put to public consultation gives substantial answers to the residents of Western Macedonia and Megalopolis. We want the lignite areas to turn the page. We are laying the foundations for the creation of a productive model that will not depend only on energy, but also by industry, the craft, alternative tourism and organic farming. Many activities can be developed and we have two main tools to promote them: First, the amount of funding 5,05 billion. from Community and national resources to be channeled to the lignite areas. Secondly, the incentives that will be finalized by the European Commission and will attract large productive investments. We have already presented 16 project showing the path we want to follow, it is certain that more will follow.
And of course we do not start from scratch, since our action for the lignite areas has started from the beginning of the year, when we presented a plan 12 points, already being implemented. The lignite resource -136 million. euro- is attributed. The Green Fund has announced special programs for de-lignification, we have found viable solutions for heating areas that were previously dependent on lignite plants. For example, in Amynteo, where the PPC unit closed, The test operation of the biomass combustion unit with which the district heating will be connected started a few days ago.
Our main concern is not to have a gap in the period until 2022, which are also the most critical years for the transition. That is why we give priority to the rehabilitation program of PPC mines, so that those who dig today tomorrow will work to restore the land so that it can be attributed to other uses. We have even asked for it 300 million. euros from the EU Recovery Fund. especially for this reason ".
The chairman of the Coordinating Committee of the Fair Development Plan, Kostis Mousouroulis, he stated: "We are putting it up for public consultation masterplan for lignite areas. This is not an exhibition of ideas, but for a coherent strategic plan, structured, comprehensive and pioneering at European level. A plan that sets ambitious realistic goals and, at the same time, identifies the means necessary to achieve them. There will definitely be gaps that need to be filled, imperfections that need to be corrected, points that need to be improved. That is exactly why the consultation is taking place.
In the masterplan is based on the new Business Plan for Fair Development Transition 2021-2027, whose approval is a precondition for utilizing the resources of the new EU Fair Transition Facility. Alongside, we prepare the ground for its utilization, also new, Recovery Fund, in order to restore the lands that will be released by PPC. In view of the forthcoming revision of the NSRF 2014-2020, We are completing a Special Transitional Program for lignite areas. This Program has already been activated with the announcements of the Green Fund.
From today and for a month, We address those who want to participate responsibly and seriously in the public consultation and that is why we provide them with all the necessary support material. We ask for their assistance, so that we can to CONTINUE. To correct. To improve. This is necessary for the progress of the country. This is what Democracy demands ".
All supporting material is available on the official website of the Steering Committee www.sdam.grvia the links below:
- Text of Public Consultation (Greek)
- Text of Public Consultation (English)
- Public Consultation Text Support Material
- Public consultation text support material - International best practices
- Current Situation and Prospects for Energy Transition Areas in Greece (Study of the Energy Institute of Southeast Europe)
- Deglinization of production: Socio-economic impact and compensatory actions (Study of the Institute of Economic and Industrial Research)
- Managing the Lignite Transition for Coal Regions in Western Macedonia, Greece Towards a Just Coal Transition in Western Macedonia, Greece – What Does the Labor Market Look Like?(World Bank Final Report)
- Focus Groups of subcontractors and PPC staff in the mining and power sectors (World Bank Final Report Appendix)
It is noted that the last two links concern work carried out by the World Bank in the framework of the project "A Just Transition for All: Preparing for a managed transition of coal-dependent regions in Western Macedonia, Greece», which was funded by the European Commission, through the SRSP Program.