ESA has ruled: The Norwegian state's acquisition of services from Hurtigruten does not constitute illegal state support. – A victory for the entire coast, says Daniel Skjeldam, CEO of Hurtigruten.
The agreement between the Norwegian state and Hurtigruten covers the state's buying services including delivering of transportation services along the Bergen – Kirkenes coastline.
Through the agreement, Hurtigruten commits to sailing and arriving daily at all 34 ports along the route, as well as reserving a predefined volume for local passengers and a predefined amount of goods.
No evidence of state support
Today's agreement runs through 2019, with the option of one-year renewal.
- After investigating the agreement, ESA has not found any clear evidence of overcompensation or cross-subsidising. The revenue margin for the state support does not appear unfair and the commercial operations of Hurtigruten do not receive an unjust advantage through oversized state contributions to the overhead costs related to delivering the services, ESA says in a press statement regarding its decision.
- Creates billions in value
- We have just conducted an extensive ripple effect study. It proves that Hurtigruten creates billions in values and thousands of local jobs along the whole coastline. Hurtigruten's docking at the port every day constitutes a crucial part of the livelihood of thousands of Norwegians, CEO of Hurtigruten Daniel Skjeldam says in a press statement.
- This is a victory for the inhabitants and businesses along the coast. A has understood what a vital service Hurtigruten delivers through its agreement with the state: Daily departures to 34 ports year-round, nearly 300,000 local passengers and around 80,000 cargo shippings in Northern Norway. This is what was at stake. That is why there is good reason to celebrate the ESA decision, Skjeldam says.
- We have approved the agreement of 5.12 billion Norwegian kroner for the 2012-2019 period. At the same time we encourage Norway to open up for more competition in its future public acquisitions of this size, ESA President Sven Erik Svedman says to the European Surveillance Authority's website.