Croatia will expand the capacity of its LNG terminal off Krk Island from 2.9 billion to 6.1 billion cubic meters, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said in Riga on Monday while attending the Three Seas Initiative summit meeting.
The Three Seas Initiative, launched by Croatia and Poland, is an informal political platform of 12 countries located between the three seas — Baltic, Adriatic and Black — with the aim of boosting their energy, transport and infrastructure connectivity.
Addressing the meeting in the Latvian capital city, PM Plenkovic said that the increased capacity of the LNG terminal to 6.1 billion cubic meters was far above Croatia’s needs.
This increase will enable Croatia to become a regional energy hub, which is also beneficial to our neighboring countries: Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Hungary said Plenkovic. He also commented on transport connectivity and highlighted the pan-European 5C corridor from Hungary via Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina reaching the southern Croatian seaport of Ploce.
The Three Seas Initiative was born out of a shared interest in developing transport, energy and digital infrastructure connections on the EU’s north-south axis. The initiative was launched in 2015 at the proposal of the then Croatian president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic and her Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda.
The very first summit meeting was held in Dubrovnik in 2016, while the initiative’s investment fund now stands at €928 million. According to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken who addressed the summit meeting via video, new American contributions will raise this amount above a billion euros.
Plenković said that the Three Seas Initiative Investment Fund is the most logical way for making investments in energy, transport and digital projects in Croatia. The contribution of Croatia’s development bank (HBOR) in this fund stands at €20 million. “Croatia is currently proposing 11 projects to be funded under the 3SIIF-financed schemes,” state agency Hina said, without clarifying.
Apart from Plenkovic, several heads of state or government arrived in Riga for the two-day event. The executives of several Croatian companies, including Koncar, the Luka Rijeka port, and Plinacro, are also taking part in the business conferences in Riga today and tomorrow.
“Tourists from the countries covered by the Three Seas Initiative account for 40 percent of visitors vacationing in Croatia,” Hina said, adding that the countries in the initiative include Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia.
“This group of countries is interesting for Croatia, and furthermore, they are also part of our Central European identity,” said Plenkovic. During his visit, he will hold several bilateral meetings, including a meeting with Latvian President Egils Levits and Google Vice-President Karan Bhatia. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the Riga event via a video link.
“The next summit meeting will take place in Romania,” Hina said, without saying when.
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