President: Croatia can become strong energy hub for Europe


Croatia has the potential to become a strong energy hub for the whole of Europe, Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said on Monday, adding that significant investments were necessary to achieve that, such as in the planned LNG terminal on the Adriatic island of Krk, as well as Croatia’s sections of the Ionian-Adriatic gas supply pipeline.

Addressing the conference on energy security in Croatia, Grabar-Kitarovic said energy security was a priority, and a pillar of Croatia’s energy development national strategy, to be adopted by the end of the year.

EU is currently facing challenges in energy supply, clearly illustrated by the fact that in 2014, in spite of the suggestions to establish an energy union, some 53 percent total energy needs were imported, at a price of some €400 billion, making the EU the largest energy importer in the world, she said.

At the same time, some member states depend on only one gas supplier, making them more vulnerable to disturbances in supply, she added.

Total gas consumption in Croatia stands at some 2.6 billion m3, only 60 percent of which comes from domestic production, Grabar-Kitarovic said.

“Domestic production is dropping at an average annual rate of some 8 percent, and it will likely continue to drop in future, meaning we will be more and more dependent on imported gas,” she said.

“An emphasis is put on diversification of sources, suppliers, and supply routes, particularly on establishing a southern gas corridor and LNG (liquefied natural gas) hubs across the EU,” she said, adding that Croatia can play an important role in that context, thanks to its favourable geographic position.

The Ionian-Adriatic gas supply pipeline is another important factor in diversification efforts, she said, as it is based on the idea of connecting the existing pipeline in Croatia, via Montenegro and Albania, with the transatlantic pipeline, which will make it possible to supply the whole of southeast Europe from Croatia with gas via the south corridor.

Follow N1 via mobile apps for Android | iPhone/iPad | Windows| and social media on Twitter | Facebook.