The Croatian Gas Association was established in Zagreb in 1993, with the aim of encouraging the development of gas operations in the country. Their work focuses on a variety of aspects from technical and scientific ones, to raising levels of knowledge and education. The association operates in the entire territory of the Republic of Croatia.
The gas market in Croatia has been liberalized just a couple of years back. How has this sector evolved since?
The liberalization of the gas market led to stronger competition, with companies being able to participate freely in terms of their commercial interest. Liberalization itself has led to the emergence of new suppliers on the Croatian wholesale market as well as the emergence of major European suppliers.
Croatia is planning the construction of a LNG (liquefied natural gas) terminal at Krk Island. How do you expect it will impact the local gas market?
The construction of the LNG terminal will certainly contribute to greater security due to the new supply route of gas in the Republic of Croatia. Due to increased competition in gas supply we expect a price reduction in the next period, as it was the case in other EU countries. The operation of the LNG terminal provides a great business opportunity for the local domestic industry to participate in and provide additional services on the operation of the terminal, thus boosting job creation and giving a chance to raise educational processes to a higher level.
Significantly higher production of LNG allowed for lower prices on the European market, resulting in LNG sales doubling over the last year in Europe. The repayment of existing loans for the development so far is assumed to have an impact on the further price undercutting.
From an infrastructure perspective, how well connected is Croatia with other countries in the region? Are there any notable projects under development?
We already have in place a highly developed gas infrastructure. In addition to the LNG terminal, evacuation pipelines are being built which will be integrated into the existing transport gas system of the Republic of Croatia. Furthermore, a compressor station has been built to provide a bilateral gas flow to the Republic of Hungary, as has been done to the Republic of Slovenia, thus delivering on the EU Directive on security of natural gas supply.
The construction of an IAP connector to the TAP gas pipeline is also planned, allowing for further transition towards the EU, while at the same time creating the conditions for the completion of gasification in the whole Republic of Croatia. It is very important to point out that the further development of infrastructure will benefit from the profitability of the investment.
What role do you see technology playing in the Croatian energy market? Is there an appetite for implementing modern solutions?
Modern high energy efficiency technology will certainly play an important role in our energy market. Moving towards a future low-carbon economy and new paradigm in life, natural gas can be seen as the most significant energy source in the transition and from the perspective of synergy with renewable energy technologies (RES). In this respect, infrastructure needs to be adapted to modern technologies for receiving gas, renewable sources, as well as the very important decentralized generation from CHP, and the use of gas in cooling.
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