The City of Amsterdam's grant of a temporary €80m loan to its waste-to-energy (wte) company AEB Holding N.V., "which is currently experiencing financial difficulties", has been approved under EU state aid rules, the European Commission announced today. The EU authority said that its guidelines on rescue and restructuring aid allow member states to support companies in difficulties, "provided, in particular, that the public support measures are limited in time and scope and contribute to an objective of common interest".
The Commission said that it came to the conclusion that the loan's positive effects "outweigh any potential distortions of competition brought about by the public intervention". The measure, by allowing AEB to keep operating, would avoid disruptions in the provision of essential waste management services, the EU institution concluded.
AEB operates a waste incineration plant with a treatment capacity of 1.4 million tonnes in Amsterdam. Four of the facility's six lines were idled in late June for safety reasons. The loss of waste processing capacity led to treatment bottlenecks throughout the Netherlands. As of 7 November, all the lines were back in operation again.