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Written Answers. - Purchase of Tugboats.

Wednesday, 8 May 1996

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 465 No. 1

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 219. Mr. Killeen Information on Tony Killeen Zoom on Tony Killeen  asked the Minister for the Marine Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett  if EU Structural Funds have been availed of for the purchase of tugboats; if so, when the funds were allocated; and by whom the boats were owned. [9211/96]

Minister for the Marine (Mr. Barrett): Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Under the Operational Programme on Peripherality — 1989-1993 — Dublin Port obtained £1.525 million EU grant aid towards the purchase of a tug the Cluain Tarbh in 1991.

The Port of Cork obtained approval, in October 1994, for £2.77 million EU grant aid from the Cohesion Fund towards the cost of a tug the Gerry O'Sullivan.

Under current EU directives, Council Directive 90/684/EEC of 21 December 1990 as last amended by Directive 94/73/EC of 19 December 1994, aid of up to 9 per cent of a contract valued over 10 MECU is available for the purchase of a tug of 365 kw or over.

However, in December 1994 an international agreement was signed within the OECD, under which all direct or indirect aid to shipbuilding is to be considered unlawful. This agreement, to which the EU is a party together with the USA, Japan, Korea and Norway, has not yet entered into force — this should have happened on 1 January 1996 — but is expected to do so in the near future. The EU Commission, [215] however, has already signalled that it will no longer approve grant aid for such projects.

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