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H2 Green Steel and the use of EU funds for non-EU competitors

Question écrite de M. Carlo FIDANZA - Commission européenne

Question de M. Carlo FIDANZA,

Diffusée le 23 avril 2024

Subject: H2 Green Steel and the use of EU funds for non-EU competitors

The InvestEU programme includes EUR 9 million in financial support for a flagship green hydrogen production project – H2 Green Steel – with a capacity of 700 MW, which is critical for the decarbonisation of the primary steel industry. In January 2024, the Commission announced that the European Investment Bank and the Nordic Investment Bank would provide further financial backing of around EUR 370 million. Despite the strategic importance of the project and the fact that Europe boasts many companies with expertise in energy conversion systems, the contract for implementing the project has been awarded to a Chinese firm with financial ties to the government in Beijing, stoking concerns about possible dumping and unfair competition. The winning bid – which undercut others by 50 %-70 % – could not technically or realistically have been matched by the other EU candidates, bound to comply with European standards.

In view of this:

1. Can the Commission clarify what criteria were used to select a non-European supplier for a project that is so clearly of strategic importance to the EU and financed using EU funds intended to promote and safeguard European competition, companies and technologies?

2. What safeguards can it put in place to ensure that the EIB funds are used in accordance with the goals of strategic autonomy and support for EU industry?

Submitted:24.4.2024

Réponse de Commission européenne

En attente de réponse

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