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EUROPA Ship Plan

Date: 18/01/2016

On Friday 20 November 2015 in the Port of Piraeus, onboard the historic vessel “ SSS Hellas Liberty”, during a close discussion between Hellenic Member State Representatives, EUROPA VENTURE (a dedicated Special Purpose Vehicle created to serve this scope) Mediterranean members of Shortsea Shipping, and high level European Commission executives took place the official presentation of the “Europa Ship Plan”.

The “EUROPA Ship Plan” is an initiative of the Hellenic Short Sea Shipowners Association (HSSA-SPC Greece) which aims to introduce a sustainable financing strategy for the renewal of the ageing European Short Sea Shipping fleet (starting from the Mediterranean), by adding innovative and green characteristics to it, with the use and promotion of LNG as marine fuel. It is targeting the entire Short Sea fleet including freight and passengers short haul vessels (wet and dry bulkers, Containers, Car Carriers, RoRo and RoPax vessels).

This ambitious Plan is a technically and financially advanced proposal to cope with the forthcoming Emission Reduction Schemes. The EUROPA Ship Plan is based on the "Juncker Plan" and the financial support instrument of the European Investment Bank, along with the loan guarantees that the European Institutions and Instruments such as DG-Move and the Connecting Europe Facility can offer.

In his opening speech, the President of H.S.S.A. Mr. Ch. Simantonis referred to the objectives of the Plan and noted that this is the first organized attempt for the renewal of the European SSS fleet, so this can responds to the increased environmental obligations, arising from the relevant European and International Regulations. Mr. Simantonis also stressed that the program is aimed at financing and not subsidies for ship building, and that the Junker Plan in combination with the financial instruments of the EIB can be used for this purpose.

The event was attended by the Minister of Shipping and Island Policy, Mr. Th. Dritsas, who in his speech referred to the developmental nature of the Plan and its potential contribution in achieving environmental and economic goals, especially if the project is linked to the domestic shipbuilding. From the side of the European Commission the event attended by Mr. Stephane Ouaki Head of Unit, Connecting-Infrastructure Investment Strategies and Jose Anselmo Principal Administrator for TEN-T Policy, who presented the possibilities and prospects of existing financial tools.

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