The European Commission announced that, under the EU State aid rules, it will provide a €27.4 million investment aid to Romania’s Port of Galați, the largest sea-river port in the country. The overall investment will cost €89.9 million.
Specifically, the EU informs that the project will be co-financed by the Romanian State, regional funds allocated via the Large Infrastructure Operational Programme (LIOP) and private money coming from concessionaires of the platform, as well as directly by the Connecting Europe Facility, a key EU funding instrument.
In April 2019, Romania informed the Commission of its plan to grant investment aid to the Port of Galați.
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The project includes the construction of a new multi-modal platform with a capacity of 150,000 TEU/year in the area called Port Bazinul Nou.
Moreover, the project also consists of the upgrading of the quay and the building of the required infrastructure for a modern intermodal terminal. The new logistics sector will boost the shift from road transport to railway and inland waterways/maritime transport on the Rhine-Danube Trans-European Transport corridor, fulfilling an objective of EU common interest.
The Commission stated that
The aid was necessary, proportionate and that the distortion of competition will be limited, given the relatively small-to-medium size of the Port of Galați, with limited transport volumes at EU level.
Romania has the largest share of the Danube Basin, about 30%. The Romanian sector of the river includes ports such as Galaţi, Girugiu and Brăila. Concerning Romania’s inland navigation, according to the April 2019 Market Insight report, the lower Danube (Romania, Bulgaria) was able to perform well because the draught of inland vessels was not restricted by the available water depth due to the river-sea-character of the fairway between the port of Braila and the Black Sea.