Tuesday, 6 September 2022

Nano Energies Croatia Has Innovative Method for Lowering Energy Costs

September the 6th, 2022 - Nano Energies Croatia (Hrvatska) has some innovative methods for lowering spiralling electricity costs, which are posing more and more of a threat to everyone in society as the situation continues to be dire.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, the energy sector is going through an extremely turbulent period that is deeply affecting both companies and regular households. Rising energy prices, the war in Ukraine, the need for decarbonisation and the need to digitise everything have made the need to find more innovative and sustainable solutions much, much more urgent. System optimisation, flexible consumption, the general reduction of the human carbon footprint and the reduction of business costs for companies and households are all pressing issues.

An innovative solution has been put forward by Nano Energies Croatia, a daughter company of the group of the same name from the Czech Republic, which is otherwise the first Croatian company to which HERA issued a license to carry out energy aggregation activities. It is a business model of a kind of "energy consulting", i.e. energy management that can save companies 10-20 percent of their electricity costs, and is financed according to the well-known ESCO model.

Ultimately, Nano Energies Croatia plans to offer Croatian users an electricity storage service in the foreseeable future. The service they're bringing to the Croatian market focuses on smart management and the overall flexibility of energy use. In practice, this means that it offers companies and electricity producers the possibility of managing their own consumption and production of electricity in order to reduce their business costs and profit from the movement of electricity prices on short-term markets. At the same time, the flexible management of production and/or consumption benefits the entire power grid and helps prevent interruptions in the supply of individual parts of the grid.

As explained by Dominik Maricevic, the manager of Nano Energies Croatia, given the accelerated decentralisation of the Croatian power system, the activity of aggregation has become an extremely important part of it.

"The unstable production of renewable energy sources has brought a challenge to the management of power systems. Frequency fluctuations within the power grid must be minimised to keep the grid stable. An independent aggregator with its distributed assets can play a key role in smoothing out such fluctuations. Therefore, our task is to create a network of small producers, consumers, as well as electricity storage tanks, so that they can react at any time and "offer" stability to the power system, but at the same time ensure access to profitable balancing energy markets. In this way, we'll manage to both speed up and reduce the costs of the energy transition for Croatian users, and at the same time create the proper preconditions for the connection of new renewable energy sources to the electric power system," explained Maricevic.

Stanislav Chvala, CEO of the Czech technology company Nano Energies, also emphasised that their license to operate on the Croatian market opens up numerous completely new opportunities for them.

"With flexible management, we can increase our customers' income by up to several tens of percent. Experiences from Western markets shows us that flexibility aggregators replace fossil fuel and nuclear power plants and enable the transition to sustainable energy. We can use the potential of the electricity that would otherwise remain unused. We can adjust consumption and production so that the customer produces electricity when it is the most expensive, and consumes it when it's the cheapest. The customer themselves doesn't notice this during operation, because everything takes place automatically, and at the same time contributes to the stabilisation of the network without the need to include coal-fired power plants in balancing the system," said Chvala.

Reconstruction of the network

He added that Europe has already started to rethink and rebuild its overall energy network and it is clear that in the coming years there will be a huge increase in the use of RES.

"Historically, the time when the wind doesn't blow or the sun doesn't shine was compensated for by gas and coal power plants, but this is an increasingly unsustainable situation for geopolitical reasons, as well as the need to preserve the environment. We have to look elsewhere for flexibility," he concluded.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Made in Croatia section.

Monday, 6 June 2022

Czech Tourists and Journalists Arrive in Croatia by Train from Prague

June the 6th, 2022 - Czech tourists and journalists arrived recently to the Northern Adriatic city of Rijeka from the Czech capital of Prague on the first RegioJet train to run this year.

As Morski writes, around 250 Czech rourists and a group of journalists arrived by the first train of this year from Prague to Rijeka, and the RegioJet train line which runs to this formerly industrial city is an extremely sought-after one with low prices, for which more than 40,000 tickets have already been sold. When it comes solely to the month of June, they are almost sold out.

It's worth noting that this train started running to the Republic of Croatia two years ago and immediately became a hit among Czech tourists. It seems that this year, following two coronavirus-induced years of stagnancy, the line could be even more sought after.

''It's a great pleasure for me to be able to bring Czech and Slovak journalists here. Some of them have already visited Croatia, and some have never otherwise been to Croatia. The Czechs love this beautiful, beautiful Croatia,'' said Eliska Nemejcova from the Prague Tourist Board.

The RegioJet train departed from Prague on Friday afternoon, carrying about 600 passengers. After Bratislava and the City of Zagreb, the train stopped in Ogulin, where it divided - some of the passengers left for Rijeka, and some headed further down south the the City of Split.

In addition to Czech tourists, both Czech and Slovak journalists arrived in Rijeka, and they will stay in Kvarner and get better acquainted with its tourist offer in a move organised by the Croatian Tourist Board, the Kvarner Tourist Board and local tourist boards, writes HRT.

RegioJet trains are bringing Czech tourists to the Republic of Croatia for the third year in a row now. Throughout June and September it will operate heading to Croatia three times a week, while in July and August it will operate daily. During the first year of establishing a tourist line to Croatia, RegioJet transported passengers to Rijeka, and from last year to, it also offered transport down to Split. 

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Friday, 3 June 2022

Czechs Purchasing Croatian Coastal Property en Masse, Here's Why

June the 3rd, 2022 - Czechs are purchasing Croatian coastal property en masse, preferring real estate on the Croatian Adriatic coast to property in their own country.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, according to the Czech media publication iDnes, Czechs are currently preferring to buy Croatian coastal property than cottages in their own homeland. According to local Zadar portal Zadarski, the reason lies in the fact that here in Croatia, at least according to Czech real estate agents, it is still possible to find an apartment on the coast at a lower price than a holiday home on the Czech continent, and they claim that it is also easier to capitalise on this investment.

"It's true, they're looking for properties, preferably with a garden. The interest is fairly high,'' confirmed analyst Sarlota Smutna for the Czech media.

Namely, this interest from Czech nationals in Croatian coastal property increased especially during the global coronavirus pandemic, and property in Croatia, Portugal, Spain and Italy is very much in demand. According to iDnes, along the Adriatic, an apartment can be bought for as little as 63,000 kroner or 2,600 euros per square metre, while a square meter in the City of Prague now costs 4,900 euros.

According to Tomas Jelinek, the director of the 21 Century real estate agency network, the demand from Czech nationals for real estate abroad is due to the fact that property in the Czech Republic has reached extremely high prices, and Jelinek claims that it's now possible to find real estate at a better price than on the Czech continent further afield.

A similar claim is being made by the well known REMAX agency, which offers Croatian coastal property at prices lower than cottages in the Czech Republic cost, especially those in the vicinity of Prague, where prices are extremely high.

"The average prices of holiday homes are still higher in most countries than the average prices of houses in the Czech Republic, but they're still lower than real estate prices in Prague, where the offer consists mainly of large houses for families," Hana Kontris told iDnes.

Property prices in the Czech Republic have doubled over the last two years, and according to Eurostat, just last year alone, that growth stood at 25 percent, the highest of all EU member states.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 25 May 2022

Czech Tourists in Croatia Could Dominate This Summer Season

May the 25th, 2022 - Czech tourists in Croatia throughout this year's rapidly approaching summer season could be a ''hit'', at least according to the current indicators of Croatia Luxury Rent's sales statistics.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, the number of bookings in luxury private accommodation from individuals living in the Czech Republic is growing significantly according to the share of the total number of bookings, and has approached the number of arrangements sold from nearby Austria and neighbouring Slovenia. This is an increase of as much as 23 percent compared to last season, which could put Czech tourists in Croatia in 2022 very high on the list when it comes to foreign visitors.

"On the other hand, it seems that due to the impact of the war in Ukraine, instability and the influx of large numbers of refugees, the markets of Poland and Slovakia are recording a decline in reservations," the aforementioned agency said.

With that said, economic growth and gradually deepening pockets which are strengthening the Czech market have caused a significant increase in the number of requests, bookings and overall interest in coming to the Republic of Croatia this summer from that country.

The Czech Republic is otherwise one of the fastest growing economies in all of Europe, and their positive economic results of course bring an increase in wages and, consequently, purchasing power and general consumption. Those factors were visibly declining back during the beginning of the global coronavirus pandemic in 2020, but have thankfully returned to a higher level over the last year.

The fact that the Czech Republic has one of the lowest unemployment rates within the entire European Union (EU) should be especially emphasised when it comes to spending power, and as such the likelihood of Czech tourists in Croatia being very numerous this summer. Last year, Croatia recorded an impressive 775,000 arrivals from the Czech Republic with 5.2 million overnight stays also realised, about 50 percent more than back during the previous year, and it was Croatia's fifth largest emitting market of all.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Tuesday, 17 May 2022

First Prague Regiojet Train This Year to Arrive in Rijeka on June 3rd

May the 17th, 2022 - The very first Prague Regiojet train will arrive from the Czech capital to the City of Rijeka on the Northern Adriatic coast on June the 3rd, but there will be nothing to speak of when it comes to the Polish line to Croatia this year, it seems.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, this year's first train of the Czech carrier Regiojet to Rijeka and Split departs from the City of Prague on June the 3rd, 2022. Tereza Ptackova, head of international projects at Regiojet, confirmed this for Rijeka portal Novi list, stating that the recognisable yellow Regiojet trains will run again via Zagreb to Rijeka and Split, but will not stop in the Hungarian capital of Budapest this year.

"The trains will run from June the 3rd to September the 26th, with them running on a daily basis throughout July and August, and three times a week in June and September. The route hasn't really changed. We still stop in the capitals of Prague, Bratislava and Zagreb. Some stops within the Czech Republic itself are set to differ from last year, but that is only because of the construction works," Ptackova explained.

The line goes Prague - Kolin, Havlickuv Brod - Zdar nad Sazavou - Brno - Breclav - Bratislava - Zagreb - Ogulin - Rijeka and Split. So, just like last year, the train will part in Ogulin, meaning part of the wagon will go to Rijeka, and part will head south to Split. Upon returning, the wagons will reunite into one composition in Ogulin.

This year, a new line from Poland was set to be launched. However, the events of the war in neighbouring Ukraine have put these plans on hold for now, with the Prague Regiojet train the only one set to run in 2022.

"The line from Poland to Croatia will not start running this year. We hope to start operations from Poland next year. During this extremely difficult situation, we're trying to help as much as possible, so we're transporting Ukrainian refugees from the Polish border town of Przemysl to the Czech Republic. In cooperation with Clovik v tisni, CD Cargo and Rail Cargo Logistics, we're also sending material aid into Ukraine,'' said Ptackova, adding that she didn't expect the war in Ukraine to affect ticket sales from the Czech Republic to Croatia whatsoever.

In terms of capacity, the head of Regiojet's international projects said that the capacity this year is more than 600 passengers per train, meaning that it is, once again, 15 wagons. Wagons with seating as well as sleeping cars will also be available.

“Perhaps the only change is that we've increased the number of so-called ''quiet wagons'' that are suitable for families with small children or the elderly. The trains will once again offer familiar comfort at very popular prices and tickets for the Prague Regiojet train have been on sale since March the 8th this year.

Ticket prices for the Rijeka range from 23.9 euros per seat, or 31.9 euros for a ticket in a sleeping compartment. Ticket prices for Split range from 36.1 euros for a seat and about 44 euros for a ticket in a sleeping car. Free services such as coffee, water, WiFi, an entertainment portal and the like are all entirely included in the ticket price.

This summer tourist season will be an excellent opportunity for people from the Czech Republic and Slovakia to travel to Croatia, but we also believe that the people of Rijeka and Split will use this opportunity to visit, for example, Bratislava or Prague,'' concluded Ptackova.

For more, check out our dedicated travel section.

Thursday, 13 January 2022

Czechs Constructing 500 Million Kuna Samobor Logistics Centre

January the 13th, 2022 - A brand new Samobor logistics centre is on the horizon, as part of a Czech project estimated to stand at around half a billion kuna in total.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Suzana Varosanec writes, there's a growing logistics ''trend'' in and around Zagreb, and the City of Samobor is paving the way for a project estimated at half a billion kuna, which will be developed by the Czech development and investment company RC Europe.

The aforementioned company is currently engaged in preparing all of necessary documentation for the construction of a brand new Samobor logistics centre (which will also deal with distribution) spanning 83,000 square metres of storage space with a net height of twelve metres, suitable for logistics and various production activities.

Excellent prospects for the accelerated development of the Samobor logistics centre project for not only Croatia but for the whole immediate region, the higher standard for citizens of Samobor and those living in its surroundings, the opening up of more than 800 new jobs and attracting partner investment companies... all of the above are the positive effects which would come from the adopting of a new Samobor UPU. It was discussed at a recently held session of the Samobor City Council.

This is a precondition for the development of the new Bobovica economic zone, within which the realisation of the aforementioned Samobor logistics centre has been announced, as a unique project for this part of Europe that will connect the Republic of Croatia with the wider European Union (single) market.

Talks with potential tenants and companies interested in cooperating on this project have already begun, as was confirmed by the Czech company RC Europe. The current storage capacity envisages about 140,000 places for pallets to be placed on 60-metre-long shelves.

The Samobor logictics centre project will create up to 800 new jobs just for warehouse workers alone, and construction is scheduled to be completed in 2023/2024. After significant experience in construction, RC Europe has realised a large number of successfully completed projects in the Czech Republic, Romania and neighbouring Serbia in the logistics sector.

For more, check out our dedicated business section.

Saturday, 7 August 2021

Czech Equity Fund EMMA Capital Invests in Croatian Bazzar Platform

August the 7th, 2021 - The Czech private equity fund, EMMA Capital, has invested in our very own ''Amazon'', the Croatian Bazzar platform. Global expansion is now on the cards.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Lucija Spiljak writes, the Czech private equity fund EMMA Capital, which is primarily focused on emerging markets in Central and Southeastern Europe, concluded an investment in the Croatian Bazzar platform, an online shopping platform and Croatia's counterpart to Amazon, on Tuesday the 3rd of August, 2021.

The amount of the investment remains a secret for now, and as explained by the Croatian Bazzar platform, the Czech EMMA Capital is joining as a new shareholder, while the founders will continue to manage the business and retain significant stakes in the company.

''Based on a joint development plan that will enable the company to benefit significantly from accelerated growth, the revenue will be used to further strengthen Bazzar’s market position here in Croatia, as well as to expand into international markets with a special focus placed on Southeastern Europe. EMMA Capital's investment in the Croatian Bazzar platform underscores its strategy of focusing on growing companies with the potential for international expansion,'' they said from Bazzar.

The Croatian Bazzar platform is under the parent company Prati me d.o.o. (Follow me) launched back in 2015 by brother and sister Viktor and Tana Zimmermann who had previously announced an extensive expansion. Bazzar.hr has also regularly found itself on the prestigious European rankings for tech companies for several years now.

Thus, back in pre-pandemic 2019, the Croatian Bazzar platform was named the fastest growing technology company in all of Croatia according to the Deloitte Fast 50 CE list. In the same year, at Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500, which ranked the 500 fastest growing technology companies in the EMEA region, which includes Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Bazzar ranked 39th, which is the best result of all Croatian companies.

Based on their business results, in 2020, Bazzar remained on the Deloitte list of the fastest growing technology companies in Central Europe and they closed last year with more than 50 million in revenue.

For more, follow our dedicated business section.

Saturday, 26 June 2021

Božinović Talks HDZ, Tourist Season, Assistance to Czechia

ZAGREB, 26 June 2021 - Interior Minister Davor Božinović said in Glina on Saturday that the HDZ, notably under Andrej Plenković's leadership, was winning despite all criticisms, not just from President Zoran Milanović, because citizens saw that the HDZ solved problems.

Responding to questions from the press, Božinović denied that there would be a constitutional crisis after parliament yesterday rejected Milanović's candidate for the Supreme Court president, Zlata Đurđević, saying that a third call for applications would probably be advertised.

Asked to comment on Milanović's claim following the rejection of Đurđević that the HDZ "is destroying" the state and the constitution, Božinović said the HDZ was winning despite all criticisms and enjoying the strongest public support because most citizens saw that the HDZ-led government was solving problems in very complex circumstances.

Success of tourist season depends on our responsibility

Speaking of the tourist season, Božinović said its success depended on people's responsibility in complying with COVID-19 measures.

Asked if night clubs would be closed this summer, he said those outdoors would be able to operate if customers were either vaccinated, tested or had recovered from the virus.

Solidarity with Czech Republic

Asked if the government had discussed helping the Czech Republic after a recent tornado, Božinović said the Interior Ministry and the Civil Protection Directorate immediately offered assistance to their Czech colleagues, "who informed us that at the moment assistance is not needed."

He said they were constantly in touch. "If anyone understands our friends in the Czech Republic, it's us in Croatia, and we know what the response was in the Czech Republic and the EU as a whole to what happened to us in Banovina and Zagreb," he said, referring to last year's devastating earthquakes.

Solidarity and the spirit of a common response to crises is becoming stronger in EU, he said, adding that recently emphasis was on bilateral cooperation, which he said would be cultivated in future as well.

"But for the system at European level to be as effective as possible, given that climate change will cause more and more such situations across the world and Europe, capacities must be joined for a rapid, effective and solidary response to such challenges and threats," Božinović said.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Croatian Tourism: 30,000 Tickets Sold for Prague-Rijeka Train

The Prague-Rijeka train line has been wildly popular with Czech tourists itching to get away and get a taste of the Croatian Adriatic, with an amazing 30,000 tickets sold in just the first two weeks of them being available for purchase.

As Marija Crnjak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 30th of June, 2020, the new line will operate on the route Prague-Brno-Bratislava-Ljubljana-Rijeka every day until the end of August.

The first train belonging to the private Czech company RegioJet which runs the new Prague-Rijeka line departs this afternoon from Prague and will arrive in the Croatian city of Rijeka tomorrow at around 08:45. The ceremonial celebration of the beginning of this new railway programme will take place in the almost completed new Hilton Costabella hotel in Rijeka, which was invested in by Czech investor JTH Holding.

As stated, the new Prague-Rijeka line will operate on the route Prague-Brno-Bratislava-Ljubljana-Rijeka every day until the end of August, and the fact that as many as 30,000 tickets were sold in the first two weeks speaks volumes about the interest in this offer, the Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ) has rightly pointed out.

RegioJet a.s. is a private Czech provider of rail and bus passenger transport and a leading long-distance railway company in Central Europe. They record 20 million passengers a year, 11 million on the railways and 9 million in bus transport. In intensive cooperation with the Croatian Embassy in the Czech Republic and the CNTB Office in Prague, the RegioJet Management recognised this opportunity and offered a new option to connect Central European countries with the Adriatic sea through a night service with modern and quality trains.

The starting ticket price of 22 euros for the Prague-Rijeka line refers to securing a place in the train's compartment. Additionally, you can buy a ticket for a coupe with a bed at a price of just 30 euros. For tourists from the Czech Republic and Slovakia, transportation from Rijeka to their final destinations on the Croatian Adriatic will be organised following their arrival.

For more on Croatian tourism in the coronavirus era, follow our dedicated section.