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Spain: EU agrees €120 million support for companies to shift cargo from road to rail freight transport

Spain: EU agrees €120 million support for companies to shift cargo from road to rail freight transport
photo: Renfe press materials/Renfe, the Spanish national railway operator
22 / 03 / 2022

The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a €120 million Spanish scheme made available through the Recovery and Resilience Facility ('RRF') to encourage freight traffic to shift from road to sustainable rail transport. The measure will also contribute to improving the environmental performance of rail transport, in line with the objectives of the Commission's Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy and the European Green Deal.

Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “The €120 million scheme approved today will contribute to improving the competitiveness and greening of rail freight transport in Spain. It will also support the shift from road to rail, in line with the objectives of the European Green Deal, while limiting possible distortions of competition.”

The measure notified by Spain, with an estimated budget of €120 million, will be entirely funded through the RRF following the Commission's positive assessment of the Spanish Recovery and Resilience Plan and its adoption by the Council.

The scheme, which will run until 30 June 2026, is aimed at promoting rail as a more environmentally friendly means of transportation, as well as at contributing to the greening of rail transport.

The support will take the form of direct grants to compensate freight companies for the cost difference between road and rail transport based on the actual volumes of freight shifted from road to rail transport. The aid amount is also calculated based on the environmental performance of the rail companies, which incentivizes performance improvements. The scheme is open to all freight companies established in the European Union and possessing all the necessary licenses, such as the single safety certificate. The maximum amount of aid per beneficiary depends on the modal shift achieved. To incentivize freight companies to shift to rail, the concrete aid amounts per beneficiary will depend on the rail freight traffic increase during the previous year.


Source: European Commission press materials