Croatia wants to expand its liquefied gas terminal on the Adriatic island of Krk well beyond its own needs and develop it into a hub for the region’s gas supply – from which gas will also flow to Austria and Germany in the future. This requires billions of investments. Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic wants to seek co-financing from the EU and, according to Chancellor Karl Nehammer (ÖVP), can also count on support from Austria.
At a meeting on Krk, Plenkovic, Nehammer and Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder agreed to support each other in strengthening energy security, diversifying energy sources and strengthening security of supply with natural gas and hydrogen. Nehammer and Söder want to lobby the European Commission for financial support for these projects as part of existing programs such as the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) or REPowerEU.
More pipelines were needed to double the capacity
According to Plenkovic, the capacity of the LNG terminal on Krk of 2.9 billion cubic meters of gas per year would already be sufficient to cover the gas needs of Croatian households and industry. Nevertheless, in August this year it was decided to expand this capacity to 6.1 billion cubic meters from which to store gas in the European natural gas networks. However, this also requires expansion of pipeline capacity in Croatia and neighboring countries.
Gewessler and Kocher should investigate better connections
According to Plenkovic, there are plans to further increase the capacity of the LNG terminal in the future. The cooperation on the various projects will be coordinated at the political level by a steering group, in which, according to Nehammer, Minister of Energy Leonore Gewessler (Greens) and Minister of Economic Affairs Martin Kocher (ÖVP) will sit on the Austrian side. Among other things, the steering group is examining the need for a better connection between Croatia and the Trans-Austria and Western Austria gas pipelines and possibly the Penta West pipeline, in particular via the Zlobin – Arnoldstein and Lučko – Murfeld routes.
The project must have a long-term effect
First, the technical and temporal feasibility of the projects and the costs must be determined. Above all, Bavarian Prime Minister Söder stressed in a joint press conference that it is not only about securing energy supply in the short term, but also about the long-term perspective of using these connections for the transport of hydrogen from renewable energy sources.
I’m Ben Stock, a journalist and author at Today Times Live. I specialize in economic news and have been working in the news industry for over five years. My experience spans from local journalism to international business reporting. In my career I’ve had the opportunity to interview some of the world’s leading economists and financial experts, giving me an insight into global trends that is unique among journalists.