More than €2.5 billion will be available to companies in the coming months for investments in development, upgrading, digitisation or investments in increasing energy efficiency, according to a REI analysis, one of the largest groups of companies specialising in attracting non-reimbursable financing from European funds and state aid for companies in Romania.

"Whether we are talking about start-ups, SMEs, large companies or even multinationals with a local presence, at least 10 calls for support for companies in different fields of activity are announced to open in the coming months. We recommend all potential beneficiaries interested in investing in technology, development, looking to purchase software and hardware equipment or looking to increase their energy efficiency by installing photovoltaic panels to carefully follow the communications in the public space and to start preparing the documentation now, with specialists or with a team of professional consultants, with a track record and who can provide contractual guarantees for the projects they are involved in", said Roxana Mircea, managing partner REI.

RePowerEU - Energy efficiency measures for large enterprises and SMEs

Allocation: EUR 411 million

Responsible authority: Ministry of Investment and European Projects (MIEP)

Objective: To support the business environment to achieve energy independence through specific energy savings in industrial/service and annex buildings and technological processes as well as for the production of green energy for own consumption from renewable resources;

Funding: minimum EUR 50,000 - maximum EUR 500,000

Opening session: September 2022

Eligible applicants: SMEs, large enterprises

Eligibility criteria:

  • it recorded an operating profit from its current business or from its operating activities in one of the years 2019, 2020 and 2021 respectively;
  • has been established until 31.12.2021 inclusive;
  • undertakes to ensure the operational/current activity and to maintain the specific energy parameters to which it has committed for a period of at least 3 years after the end of the project implementation period;
  • has its own co-financing;
  • is not a company in difficulty in 2021;
  • has not received financial support from public funds, including EU funds, in the last 5 years for the same activities;
  • had at least 1 employee in fiscal year 2021;
  • has at least one electricity and gas supply contract, compulsory, or heat supply contract as appropriate.

Eligible investments:

  • Investments in energy efficiency measures and reduction of specific energy consumption in buildings and annexes;
  • Investments in equipment/tools/specific equipment needed to obtain energy from renewable sources;
  • Investments in energy efficiency measures in existing or new cogeneration/trigeneration units;
  • Investments to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

"Support measures to increase energy efficiency will become increasingly popular in the coming period. While this spring NRRP Component 6 - Energy was the star of the applications with more than 600 projects submitted, RePowerEU is a continuation of the NRRP measure for which there has been huge interest. Companies that failed to apply in time for the NRRP - Self-consumption scheme have this new support measure available to them, which will start in early September. Schemes for the installation of photovoltaic panels require a feasibility study and a very complex documentation, that is why we encourage companies that want to receive funding under this scheme to start preparing their projects based on the available guidelines", Roxana Mircea said.

Recycling (NRRP)

Allocation: EUR 286 million

Responsible authority: Ministry of Environment, Water and Forests

Objective: Developing, upgrading and completing integrated municipal waste management systems at county or city/municipal level;

Funding: Maximum €8.4 million/project, based on funding intensities under the Regional State Aid Scheme;

Opening session: September 2022

Eligible applicants: Micro, SME, large enterprises

Economic operators who are authorised to carry out at least one of the activities corresponding to the following CAEN codes:

  • 3821 - treatment and disposal of non-hazardous waste;
  • 3822 - treatment and disposal of hazardous waste;
  • 3832 - recovery of sorted recyclable materials;
  • 3831 - dismantling (disassembly) of disused machinery and equipment for material recovery;
  • 3811 - non-hazardous waste collection;
  • 3812 - hazardous waste collection.

Eligibility criteria:

  • Expenditure on the construction of the buildings necessary for the location and installation of the machinery, installations and equipment purchased, with the related equipment - electrical installations, natural gas supply, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning installations (relating only to the building premises);
  • Expenditure on mobile equipment, related to the activity for which funding is requested, up to a maximum of 20% of the value of the eligible expenditure, to be used only for project-specific activities carried out exclusively on the premises;
  • Expenditure on the purchase and assembly of machinery, plant and equipment needed to achieve the project objectives;
  • Expenditure on acquisition of intangible assets.

"Companies involved in recycling activities benefit from a budget of around €300 million through the NRRP for investments in the purchase of equipment needed for the development and technology of hazardous and non-hazardous waste processing plants, and are targeted at companies that manage the recycling of plastic, metal, glass or paper waste, as well as those that recycle batteries or other products considered to be high risk. Recycling has gained increasing ground in Romania in recent years, but also an appetite for investment, and we have secured dozens of investment projects in this sector with major companies in the industry. Faced with the challenges at European level, the recycling sector is an important pillar for development in the coming years, which will benefit from more and more non-reimbursable support", Roxana Mircea added.

What other calls have opened or will open in the coming months

In addition to the 7 major axes of support in key areas, totalling about €2.5 billion in support for companies, other smaller schemes totalling hundreds of millions of euro will be opened in the coming months. These include:

  • Investments in the wine sector (investments aimed at improving the overall performance of the wine enterprise, increasing competitiveness through the production or marketing of wine products, allocation EUR 47.7 million, for micro-enterprises and SMEs);
  • Micro-industrialisation (promotion of domestic production and of the "Made in Romania" concept, allocation of RON 50 million for SMEs);
  • Trade and services (improving the economic and technical performance of SMEs, allocation RON 50 million);
  • Start-up Nation (for which the session is already open, grants of €20-40,000 are awarded to start-up companies).

"At the end of the year, at the latest from January next year, companies will also have at their disposal funding through the Regional Operational Programme (ROP), with an allocation of over 1.5 billion euros, non-reimbursable funds that can be used in production, services (HoReCa, IT), recycling, event organisation etc.", concluded Roxana Mircea.