Local Officials against Floating LNG Terminal on Krk Island

By 28 March 2018

ZAGREB, March 28, 2018 - The head of the northern Adriatic municipality of Omišalj on Krk island, Mirela Ahmetović, told a news conference on Tuesday that European Commission officials had visited Omišalj and that she had informed them that the local authorities were against the planned construction of a floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Omišalj.

Ahmetović said that, owing to European Parliament member Ivan Jakovčić's engagement, Omišalj was visited by a representative of the EC Directorate-General for Energy, Adam Szolyak, and Denis Redžepagić of the EC Representation in Croatia.

Ahmetović said that she had told them that the authorities of Omišalj and Primorje-Gorski Kotar County believed that the floating LNG terminal was not in line with the municipality's physical plan and that the environmental impact study for the project was neither professional nor complete.

She said that she had informed the EC officials that the project was in breach of a number of national laws, as well as EU directives and the European Charter of Local Self-Government. "I told them that the disagreement of the local community with the project boils down to the fact that the physical plan does not envisage a floating LNG terminal because local residents did not want it when the physical plan was adopted," said Ahmetović.

Ahmetović quoted Szoylak as saying that the LNG terminal was important for the EU but that it was not so important as to warrant waging a war against local government units. She also said that she had informed the EC official that the position of the local community on the project was being ignored by those in charge of it, namely the Environmental Protection Ministry and the government.

Asked if the EC had any jurisdiction over the LNG terminal, she said that the EC officials did not come to act as a mediator between the government and the local community or interfere in Croatia's legislation. "They will give money only for projects that are clean in terms of legislation," she said, adding that the LNG project was definitely not clean.

EC officials today also visited the town of Krk, and on Monday they held talks with representatives of local associations and Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, who are also opposed to the floating LNG terminal project.

The Primorje-Gorski Kotar County Assembly and the Omišalj Municipal Council believe that the floating LNG terminal is not financially and environmentally viable. They also believe that a previously planned project for an on-shore LNG terminal is acceptable to the local community.