Commission gives go-ahead for Motorway of the Sea between Vigo and Nantes

The European Commission has already given its approval to the governments of Spain and France to subsidize, with 23 million Euros, the Vigo-Nantes Motorway of the Sea. It has been considered that the application “meets all the requirements”, so that both states can begin to give the grant to the beneficiary (Suardíaz), who will receive the aid over the next five years.

Nevertheless, this authorization has taken four months until its approval, slowed by the request for additional “clarifications”, as it has been reported by ‘El Faro de Vigo’. Among other requirements, Brussels has demanded that the new sea link would not interfere in any similar one between the two ports, because it could adversely affect the free competition established in the European Union. In addition, it has also requested that the use of the 23 million Euros guarantee the profitability of the line and do not exceed 35% of the costs of the service, which is being offering unaided, since mid-January, with two ships and three frequencies a week in both directions.

However, after eight months, the results achieved so far, appear to be insufficient to ensure the profitability of long-term connection. In fact, as stated in the Galician newspaper, recently shipping company spokesman has urged the governments and Europe to deliver  this aids, or otherwise, could reduce the number of operations performed Suardíaz in Vigo.

The Vigo port sector has evaluated the “risk” of the shipping company to reinforce the Nantes route without any type of funding, although it has been recognized that with this strategy “they’ll get an advantage”.  It also argues that, together with the commercial work done so far, and with the receipt of aid, “It would take some prices to be a little bet cheaper, to attract potential users that until now have been very wary of sending cargo in their boats.

Source: European Shortsea Network