EU approves EUR 102m grant for LNG terminal in Croatia

The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Coordination Committee on Friday approved a EUR 102 million grant for the construction of a floating LNG terminal off the northern Adriatic island of Krk and another EUR 40.5 million for Sincro.Grid, a Croatian-Slovenian project aimed at improving the transfer of electricity.

The two projects are part of a package of 18 European energy projects worth EUR 444 million green-lit today at the recommendation of the European Commission.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said on Friday the decision by the Connecting Europe Facility Coordination Committee to approve a EUR 102 million grant for the coPnstruction of a floating LNG terminal off the northern Adriatic island of Krk was excellent news.

"I think the news we had today is very encouraging and we will continue to work on this strategic project," Plenkovic told reporters in Dugopolje.

He said his government had applied for the co-financing of the LNG terminal at the start of its term in early November.

He said that yesterday he met with representatives of the LNG Hrvatska company and potential partners, a consortium comprising Spain's Enagas, Luxembourg's Marguerite and Lithuania's Klaipedos Nafta, which he said were willing to invest.

"In this way, we will increase Croatia's energy security, gas supply, and be an important part of gas supply security not just in Croatia but Europe too," Plenkovic said, voicing confidence that the project being prepared by LNG Hrvatska would be implemented.

The decision was welcomed by Croatian Environmental Protection and Energy Minister Slaven Dobrovic, who said the LNG terminal "is one of the most important energy projects not just at the national but at the regional and European level, as proved by today's co-financing decision."

"That project will definitely elevate Croatia's economy and Croatia's industry. Also, the realisation of the project indubitably confirms the security of gas supply," he said, adding that new supply routes "will result in a lower gas price for the end consumers in Croatia."

Strategic partners are being sought for the LNG terminal, which is expected to become operational in 2019. The total value of the project is EUR 363 million, with EUR 747,000 approved for drawing up a study, half the total price, and EUR 101.4 million for construction, 28% of the total price.

Sincro.Grid has been assessed as the most innovative project. It will be carried out by the Croatian and Slovenian electricity grid operators HOPS, HEP ODS, and ELES. The EU will co-finance 51% of its cost (EUR 40.5 million).