The EU greenlights the Italian 500 million euros scheme to support the purchase of clean, zero-emission ships


The European Commission has approved an Italian scheme of 500 million euros in order to help the enterprises of the marine transport to acquire clean, zero-emission ships and to modernise the more polluting ships.

The scheme notified by Italy has a 500 million euros budget and will be financed through the complementary fund set up with national resources to complement the national recovery and resilience plan.

The aim of the measure is to encourage shipping companies to replace the existing, low environmentally performant ships and to reduce the use of fossil fuels in maritime transport. The scheme will support projects aimed at increasing the environmental performance and energy efficiency of ships operating long, medium and short-range sea shipping services for passengers, freight and combined transport, including other ships operating in Italian ports.

In particular, the aid will be used to finance the purchase of clean and zero-emission ships, including those powered by electricity and hydrogen, and the modernisation of existing ships. Through modernisation, ships will be able to: use or increase the use of biofuels and synthetic fuels (for example, liquid or gaseous renewable fuels of non-biological origin) in addition to or as an alternative to fossil fuels; use wind propulsion as an alternative to other propulsion systems. The measure supports a wide range of technologies ranging from battery and fuel cell installation to wind propulsion systems.

The scheme will be open to shipping companies registered in Italy that provide maritime transport links between an Italian port and European and/or Mediterranean ports or operating within Italian ports. Beneficiaries will be selected through an open, non-discriminatory and transparent procedure.

The aid will take the form of direct grants. The maximum amount of aid per beneficiary is 40% of the eligible costs and may be increased up to 60% for small and medium-sized enterprises and 45% for projects involving zero-emission ships.

Environment and health