Ministry of Economy and Finance, which removed some investment items and modified others, enriching them
In the last few hours, a new draft of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (commonly renamed Recovery Plan or Recovery Fund) has been ‘packaged’ and the news does not seem to be good for Italian shipowners.
The latest is the updated version following the findings and in-depth examination by the Ministry of Economy and Finance, which removed some investment items and modified others, enriching them. Among the projects that have been most strengthened are those for Health, for a total of nearly 18 billion, as well as increases would also have been approved for social infrastructure, education and culture. Other sectors are paying the price, including the chapter dedicated to infrastructure, intermodality and logistics
On the other hand
In particular, as confirmed to SHIPPING ITALY by sources close to Mef and the Ministry of Transport, a scissor kick would have involved the renewal program “fleet renewal” which until a few days ago had been assigned 630 million euros.
In particular, the appropriations for ships (ferries, cruises, etc.) operating in the free market risk being drastically reduced or canceled because public support for shipping companies would be seen by Brussels as a possible State aid and therefore would not be approved. On the other hand, public support, through money from the Recovery Fund, to the ships supplied to the Coast Guard, as well as the means used for local public transport or for the agreed routes to guarantee maritime territorial continuity, would remain confirmed
The MEF’s reasoning is that European aid can include ship renewal programs that do not alter competition on the market. It remains to be understood how, for example, investments in barge ships for the supply of LNG in ports will be considered
Renewal of fleets
However, the same sources suggest that if on the one hand certain funds for the renewal of fleets are canceled, it is true that there is always the possibility of inserting incentives in other chapters (for example in programs promoted by the Ministry of the Environment on sustainable transport) ” installation of scrubbers, new LNG-powered ships, etc.
The draft of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan that SHIPPING ITALY had made public at the end of December (before being subjected to the rationalization plan of resources by the Mef) provided for “incentives for the construction of new units or refitting of existing units with of latest generation generation / propulsion (fuel cells, LNG engines, batteries and hybrid systems), capable of reducing or eliminating the environmental footprint
“. It also specified that “Ro-Ro carriers, ferries, cruise ships and the Coast Guard fleet will be affected. Appropriate systemic infrastructures will also be built, such as those for ship-to-ship and truck-to-ship LNG bunkering by upgrading existing LNG terminals and building new infrastructures (3 micro-liquefiers) and dedicated bunkering ships
The scheme of accepted projects specified that the replacement of 50 boats was expected for the ferry / cruise ship line by the last quarter of 2026, for the Coast Guard line the replacement of 60 hybrid patrol boats again by the end of 2026 and for the Lng line. the construction of two 20,000m3 bunkers by the second quarter of 2024
At this point it will remain to be understood whether and where any resources stolen or diverted from the fleet renewal program may eventually reappear in other projects