Renewable energy instrument for SMEs

Finexpo can support your SME if it fulfils all of the conditions below.

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Description

Finexpo can support your SME if it fulfils all of the conditions below:

  • You are a Belgian SME.
  • This SME has a renewable energy project.
  • The project involves infrastructure or investment products and a related service.
  • You would like to export this service to a particular developing country.
  • The project offers sufficient added value for Belgium.
  • The contract amount does not exceed 876,000 euros.
  • The product or service will be exported to a public-sector client.

Finexpo can support you by making a grant of between 80.01% and 100% of the contract value up to a maximum of 700,000 euros, and 500,000 euros depending on the level of Belgian interests.

Belgian SMEs

In order to determine whether or not a company is a small or medium-sized enterprise, the European definition is used. This depends on:

  • staff headcount;
  • turnover or balance sheet total;
  • autonomy. This means not more than 25% of an enterprise may be owned by an enterprise that does not meet the SME definition.

In order to fall into a certain size category, each of the three elements must be fulfilled.

Renewable energy project

This concerns projects that promote the use of renewable, ecological energy and are in line with renewable energy projects, such as, but not limited to, those in the list below:

  • renewable electricity generated by wind energy, solar energy, hydropower, marine renewable energy, geothermal energy
  • renewable heating and cooling by means of solar energy, thermal energy or heat pump
  • sustainable transport;
  • horizontal topics such as grid integration and storage facilities;
  • technologies that fit into this framework within the Federal Recovery Plan.

Projects that offer an alternative to fossil fuels and contribute towards a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions are also eligible. The projects must result in diversification of the energy supply and help to reduce dependence on oil and gas. 

Infrastructure or investment products and related service

Finexpo's aim is to support the export of Belgian capital goods and related services. This means that other products and services fall outside the scope.

The products and related services that are developed must be fully functional. They therefore need to be finished products or services and not products that are in a testing phase. Despite this, developments intended for adaptation to the local context may also be financed.

The products and related services may also be commercially viable.

The training of the client's personnel to enable them to start using this product after delivery may be invoiced for.

Initial export of the product

The export project for which a contribution is being requested from Finexpo must relate to a Development Assistance Committee (DAC) country to which the product has not previously been exported. However, the enterprise is permitted to have already exported that product to another DAC country. A business may receive support twice through this instrument. However, the second round of support cannot be provided for the same export country as for the first round. The second support application cannot be submitted until completion of the first project, therefore after the last invoice has been paid.

To a particular developing country

The regulatory framework of Finexpo only allows the World Trade Organization (WTO), the World Bank, and the OECD to provide support in the form of tied and untied aid to developing countries. This support must be relevant for the development of those countries.

Sufficient added value for Belgium

This instrument may only be used by projects of Belgian SMEs that offer a sufficient level of interest for Belgium (at least 30%). The percentage of Belgium's interest determines the amount of support.

The method of calculating the interest can be found in the Finexpo vademecum. This also specifies that the project must be in keeping with the enterprise's long-term strategic export vision.

Maximum contract amount

For projects where the Belgian interest is at least 50%contracts worth up to 700,000 euros are financed in full. This contract value could possibly be increased to 874,000 euros, but the amount in excess of 700,000 euros must then be financed by the client, except for LDCs where the maximum contract amount is 700,000 euros.

For projects where the Belgian interest is at least 30%contracts worth up to 500,000 euros are financed in full. This contract value may possibly be increased to 624,000 euros, but the amount in excess of 500,000 euros must then be financed by the client, except for LDCs where the maximum contract amount is 500,000 euros.

The maximum contract amounts must be respected, given that the OECD arrangement requires the SME instrument to contain a grant element of at least 80%, and even 100% for LDCs.

To a public-sector client

The client must be a public entity

Procedure

For the projects for which this aid is requested, the Belgian companies concerned shall draw up a dossier on the basis of questionnaire. This questionnaire makes it possible to assess projects on their economic and development relevance.

The Finexpo Committee shall examine the dossier and give an advice to the Minister or State Secretary responsible for Foreign Trade. It shall submit the dossier to the Council of Ministers, which shall decide whether or not to grant the aid.

The commercial contract may not have been signed for the examination of the application for this instrument by the Council of Ministers.

Promise

The positive decision of the Council of Ministers is converted into a promise being a document that is sent to the exporter and which guarantees the State intervention for a period of one year that can be extended.

Ministerial Decree

If the transaction is concluded within this period , a Ministerial Decree shall be granted to the exporter in order to officialise the granting of this aid.