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    Croatia Tries to Speed LNG Project


Croatia says permits for the delayed Krk FSRU project can be accelerated. A tender for a separate LNG bunkering station closes June 16.

by: Mark Smedley

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Natural Gas & LNG News, Europe, Political, Ministries, Balkans/SEE Focus, Gas for Transport, Infrastructure, Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), News By Country, Croatia

Croatia Tries to Speed LNG Project

The Croatian government last week adopted its conclusions on accelerating the development of an LNG import terminal.

The project will require tendering for, and installation of, a floating storage and regasification (FSRU) terminal on the island of Krk. The document adopted on June 8 by the government, available in Croatian only, outlines how state institutions and bodies may issue faster permits to speed up the project's development. Provision for them to do so is defined by Croatia's existing act on strategic investments.

State-owned LNG Croatia (LNG Hrvatska) has been appointed as the project developer and is the promoter at the EU level. But the process has been slow, and the developer has made no major announcements since the EU decided in February 2017 to grant €101.4mn towards the estimated €363mn cost of the FSRU-based project.

LNG Croatia has not replied to requests from NGW for an update on the project's development. Industry sources tell NGW there's been no agreement from foreign investors identified by Croatia's prime minister in February to take equity in the venture, which he expected to enter service in 2019.

Critics however say that current Croatian gas grid exit tariffs would make it uneconomic to export regasified LNG to neighbouring countries such as Hungary, and that such tariffs therefore must be reduced or overhauled before any investment is made.

LNG Croatia's new managing director Goran Francic was quoted early last month by a local news agency saying that a final investment decision has slipped until 1Q 2018, with start-up also delayed until 2020. A tender for the FSRU would be issued this summer, he added.

"Croatia has serious organisational problems related to the Krk terminal construction already for years," Janez Kopac, director of the secretariat of the Energy Community which brings together EU states and non-EU states in southeast Europe told NGW  in mid-May.

Last full day to bid on Rijeka LNG bunkering station

Separately, there is one day left for those interested in submitting a bid to LNG Croatia for construction of an LNG bunkering station in the Rijeka port basin and associated infrastructure and services. The deadline for submitting bids is 10am local time on June 16 2017; the tender can be seen here.


Mark Smedley