Foreign Minister: Croatia plans to double the capacity of its LNG terminal

NEWS 21.10.202212:14 0 komentara

Foreign ministers from 14 countries located along Europe's Danube river, including Croatia, said in a joint declaration that they will "intensify efforts" to reduce dependence on energy supplies from Russia at a forum in Slovakia. Croatia's plan to do this includes increasing the capacity of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal on the northern Adriatic island of Krk, state news agency Hina said on Thursday.

A forum of foreign ministers of Danube countries is currently being held in the town of Kosice in Slovakia, as part of the European Union’s Strategy for the Danube Region, a framework for talks and cooperation among countries in that area.

“At a meeting behind closed doors, the ministers harmonized their policies regarding the import of gas from Russia, in light of its invasion of Ukraine,” Hina said.

“We will intensify efforts to reduce dependence on Russian fossil fuels by diversifying energy sources and supply routes,” they said in a join declaration released after the meeting. The document was adopted by 14 countries, including nine EU members (Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia) and five non-EU members (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Moldova, and Ukraine.)

Croatia’s Foreign Minister, Gordan Grlic-Radman, attended the meeting via video link and said that Croatia had plans to double the capacity of its LNG terminal on Krk island from 2.9 billion cubic meters to 6.1 billion cubic meters.

Grlic-Radman did not offer any timeline for the plan. But an expert quoted by Hina said the terminal could serve as an alternative supply source.

“Croatia is in a very good situation when it comes to reducing dependence on Russian gas because it can now use the LNG terminal as an alternative supply solution,” said Borbala Toth, an analyst at the Regional Centre for Energy Policy Research (REKK), a think-tank based in Budapest.

“Croatia is also interested in the construction of the Ionian-Adriatic gas pipeline (IAP), which would stretch from Croatia through Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro to Albania, where it would connect to the Trans-Adriatic Gas Pipeline (TAP), which supplies gas from Azerbaijan via Greece to Albania and further on to Italy,” Hina opined.

“This is something that Croatia has been considering for some time. However, I don’t see the future in gas, so I don’t see how Croatia would profit from the construction of that gas pipeline,” said Toth.

“The EU’s Green Deal aims at ending the use of fossil fuels, including natural gas, and turning to renewables,” Hina said.

“Croatia’s gas supplies are already secured by land as it can import gas from Slovenia and Hungary and because it has an LNG terminal,” Toth said. “If Croatia wants to spend money on something, then it should invest in renewable sources. That would be a step forward,” Toth told Hina.

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