Friday, 19 August 2022

LNG Terminal to See Croatia Position Itself on New EU Energy Map

August the 19th, 2022 - The Republic of Croatia plans to position itself as one of the leaders on the new energy map of the European Union (EU), and this will be made possible by the National Energy Efficiency Action Plan for the period from 2022 to 2024 and the decision on the expansion of the LNG terminal on the island of Krk, which the Government made at a recently held session.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, to speak more specifically, the move regards the decision to build the Zlobin - Bosiljevo gas pipeline and increase the capacity of the LNG terminal on the island of Krk to 6.1 billion cubic metres of gas per year, with the total value of the investment reaching 180 million euros.

European Union money

As pointed out by the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Davor Filipovic, this is a strategic decision because it doubles the capacity of the LNG terminal on the island of Krk, and the construction of a new gas pipeline is underway.

"We're doing this in order to strengthen the security of gas supply across Croatia, as well as to position ourselves as a leade when talking about energy in this part of Europe. The total value of the investment stands at 180 million euros, of which 25 million euros will be invested in the expansion of LNG terminal's capacity, and 155 million euros in the expansion of the gas pipeline network," said Filipovic.

He added that European Union money will be used as much as possible in order to finance the investment, with the support of course from the state budget. Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic also pointed out that this is a strategic and important decision for energy security and for the supply of gas to Croatia, apostrophising the importance of Plinacro's role, as well as the use of measures from the REPowerEU plan.

He assessed that Croatia is grafually becoming a regional energy hub when it comes to the high-quality use of terminals for liquefied natural gas. As an interesting fact, he singled out Germany, which doesn't yet have an LNG terminal of its own, and two such terminals, which should be built by 2024, will together have a capacity of 13 billion cubic metres of gas per year.

As Plenkovic himself stated, this means that one of Croatia's terminals is practically half of the capacity of Germany. The national energy efficiency action plan is extremely important in the context of the response to the current energy crisis and European efforts to reduce dependence on Russian gas following sanctions placed against the country for the invasion of Ukraine.

As explained by Minister Filipovic, in the period from 2014 to 2020, a decline in primary energy consumption was observed across the Republic of Croatia, as was a constant increase in final energy consumption. Such a trend was explained by the penetration of renewable energy sources and the improvement of the efficiency of production facilities in the production/transformation sector of energy, while in terms of immediate consumption, the effect of the implementation of energy efficiency measures could not neutralise the effect of economic trends and the increase in general consumption.

Back in pandemic-dominated 2020, Croatia achieved 18.7 percent lower primary energy consumption (364.6 PJ), i.e. 7.5 percent lower immediate energy consumption (269.5 PJ) compared to the target.

"The backbone of this plan is the provision of financial incentives for the energy renovation of buildings, especially residential ones, both from European Union sources and from the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund," said Filipovic.

This plan will also be co-financed and implemented by European Union funds as well as the funds from various financial institutions. In addition to measures aimed at individual sectors and segments of energy consumption, the plan foresees the continuation of implementation of supporting measures, such as energy efficiency planning obligations at the local and regional level, energy audits, not to mention the energy certification of buildings and the proper promotion of energy services.

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

Monday, 18 July 2022

Minister Says Petrol to Cost HRK 13.02, Diesel 13.43 per Litre in Next 2 Weeks

ZAGREB, 18 July 2022 - Economy Minister Davor Filipović said on Monday that for the next fortnight the price of petrol would be HRK 13.02 per litre, down from HRK 13.50, while the price of diesel would go up from HRK 13.08 to HRK 13.43.

Also, fuel prices on motorways and elsewhere will be equated and the government will extend the price cap on blue-dyed diesel to HRK 9.45 per litre for another two weeks, he told the press after a government conference call.

The retail margin stays HRK 0.65 per litre of petrol and diesel, as do excises of HRK 0.80 on petrol and HRK 0.40 on diesel.

"Without these government moves, the price of diesel would have been HRK 15.70 and the price of petrol HRK 14.92," the minister said.

(€1 = HRK 7.5)

For more, check out our politics section.

 

Monday, 4 July 2022

Minister: Ina Will Help Small Distributors

ZAGREB, 4 July 2022 - Economy Minister Davor Filipović said on Monday that the wholesale price of fuel would be restricted for the next two weeks so that major oil market stakeholders, including Ina, would bear the brunt compared to small companies, which had done well in previous years.

He underscored that the government aimed to protect citizens and help the economy, so fuel prices at off-motorway filling stations would be the same as in the past two weeks, namely HRK 13.08 for diesel and HRK 13.50 for Eurosuper 95 petrol. He added that fuel prices at motorway filling stations would be reduced to HRK 13.83 for petrol and HRK 14.28 for diesel.

Filipović said that under the latest government decision, the wholesale price would be limited for the next two weeks so that the most significant stakeholders in the oil market could bear most of the burden compared to small distributors.

"We have been continually communicating with retailers. In the past two weeks Ina did not increase its wholesale price, and small distributors on the most part sold their own stocks. Therefore, we can say that in the past two weeks they did not earn as much as they had planned," said Filipović, adding that in the next two weeks, INA would take on most of the burden and would not increase its prices for retailers to make it easier for them to operate.

He said that there were 40 small oil distributors and that in 2021 they generated total sales revenue of almost HRK 3.5 billion, and a profit of HRK 133 million. They operated equally successfully in 2020, the minister said. All of that should be taken into account and it is necessary to take a look at the bigger picture because we are in a delicate situation, Filipović said, adding that without the government's intervention, the price of diesel would be more than HRK 16.

Asked what the Prime Minister referred to when he mentioned tax scissors for profiteers, Filipović said that the government was considering all options and monitoring the situation and would act in the interest of citizens and the economy when it assessed it to be appropriate.

When asked if small distributors were unjustly complaining, he underscored that the aim was to limit wholesale prices. The situation is difficult for everyone, small distributors are not accustomed to it because their business has been successful in the past, he said.

"These past two weeks and the next two weeks will certainly not be easy for them, but I believe that we will all successfully overcome this situation together," the minister emphasized.

For more, check out our politics section.

Monday, 4 July 2022

Croatian Fuel Prices to Shoot Up Again Unless Government Intervenes

July the 4th, 2022 - Unless the government once again steps in quickly with some measures to mitigate the harsh blow to the pockets of this country's drivers as inflation drags on, Croatian fuel prices are set to shoot up yet again this week.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, according to unofficial information from HRT, eurosuper could cost around 16 kuna, and eurodiesel more than 16 and a half kuna unless the government intervenes this week. The Economy Minister recently said that the decision will be made after the weekend, and the Prime Minister announced a session of talks within the government on the subject for Monday.

Eurodiesel on Croatian motorways currently costs 14.57 kuna per litre, and Eurosuper 95 costs 14.06 kuna. A litre of basic Eurodiesel costs 13.08 kuna at fuel stations that are not on the motorways.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic has also announced the possible introduction of fuel vouchers if the situation fails to calm down.

"The introduction of fuel vouchers is possible this autumn, we're leaving that possibility open, but the government still has other tools at its disposal," Plenkovic said. "As for the vouchers, they'll go to those with lower incomes, and this is something that we have to do qualitatively and according to certain criteria," he added.

The head of the distributors' association: We're going to close the pumps on Tuesday if the government doesn't do something.

Armando Miljavac, the head of the Association of Small Oil Derivatives Dealers, says that on Tuesday, he will close the country's fuel stations if the government doesn't step in and do something. The association brings together more than sixty small dealers who manage about a hundred fuel stations throughout Croatia. "I don't know what to tell you. We're not very happy with this, these decisions should have been made already but here we are, we're still faced with uncertainty,'' said Miljavac for Index.

"If there is no decision on Tuesday that is acceptable for normal operations and the continuation of operations, we've decided to close the fuel stations. We've been trying to cope with this for eight months, we've exhausted all our reserves, the price differences have broken down...", continued Miljavac, adding that he wonders what will happen in autumn and states that things aren't looking good.

Economy Minister Davor Filipovic, We're considering all measures, there'll be a decision made today.

Minister Filipovic also commented on whether or not the government is preparing new measures ahead of Tuesday to try to tackle rising Croatian fuel prices, given the fact that further price hikes are expected. In an interview with Media Servis, Filipovic stated that there are still options when it comes to excise duties.

"We're considering all possible measures, so all options are on the table at the moment. We still have a few options when we talk about excise duties. We'll make a decision that will be beneficial, which will be satisfactory at this moment, but only when we see what the prices are going to actually be in the end,'' he explained, adding that decisions will be made today.

Fuel vouchers were announced as a longer-term measure to help the socially disadvantaged.

"This situation is so volatile that we can't predict what will happen in the next two weeks. Maybe in the next two weeks we'll have to react differently, not to talk about what the situation is going to be like come autumn. Vouchers are in the plan and they're scheduled to start sometime in autumn, but I'll talk more about the details when the time comes," said Filipovic.

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

Thursday, 30 June 2022

Funds For Lending By HAMAG-BICRO To Be Ensured Under NRRP

ZAGREB, 30 June 2022 - The Croatian government on Thursday adopted schemes under which the HAMAG-BiICRO agency will approve loans for the green and digital transition from the funds of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP).

The scheme called "investment loans from the funds of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan" refers to giving the green light for loans provided by the HAMAG-BICRO agency for small and medium-sized enterprises for the green and digital transition, Economy Minister Davor Filipović informed the government on Thursday.

The upper limit of a loan under this scheme is €100,000 at an interest rate of 0.8%, a grace period of up to 12 months and a maximum repayment period of 10 years.

The government also adopted a programme for subsidising the interest rate with funds from the NRRP.

This scheme aims to boost the resilience and competitiveness of SMEs, and the interest rate could be subsidised up to 50%.

Loans with at least five years of repayment are entitled to this facility.

The two schemes go into effect on the day of their adoption and are in place until the absorption of all the available funds for this purpose or until 30 June 2026 at the latest.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković described these schemes as a strong encouragement to the Croatian economy.

 

For more, check out our politics section.

Thursday, 9 June 2022

Davor Filipovic Talks Inflation, Eurozone, Tenders and Measures

June the 9th, 2022 - Economy Minister Davor Filipovic was a recent guest on the 'A sada Vlada/and Now for the Government' radio show, where he discussed the situation with ongoing inflation and plans to try to mitigate the pressure on both people and the economy.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, new measures have come into force over the last few days, which should work to further stabilise the spiralling growth of fuel prices. Still, the question arises as to what can be expected in the weeks ahead, which Davor Filipovic touched on:

“We can know what will happen in the next two weeks. What will happen after that... I think, at least in these conditions of uncertainty, is impossible to predict. On Monday, we made decisions to reduce excise duties and trade margins. We've extended the period in which we calculate the prices of oil and oil derivatives, and this decree will remain force for the next thirty days,'' said the Minister, explaining the decisions recently made by the Croatian Government.

He added that it's yet to be seen what the situation will be on like on global oil markets, and that prices will be further formed accordingly.

"We went for a two-week interval to benefit our people and the economy. The price of fuel is now lower than it was for one entire week. If the prices of fuel on global markets do go down, then they'll go down in this country as well,'' Davor Filipovic pointed out, believing that, when all the circumstances are taken into account, people can be satisfied with what's been done so far.

"There will be no fuel shortages"

Speaking about the maneuver space of the Government, the Minister noted that there is space left in relation to excise duties, and that when it comes to petrol, it is about 36.37 lipa per litre at this moment in time.

"When we talk about diesel, then the space is a bit smaller, by about 16 or 17 lipa. In these extraordinary circumstances, all the options are on the table, we're analysing and monitoring what is happening on the market, so that we can respond adequately. We're going to do everything in our power to be shoulder to shoulder with people and with the economy," he said.

He also answered the question of whether there may be a shortage of fuel in Croatia:

“Our stocks are in accordance with the law, ninety days for oil and petroleum products. I dare say there will be no shortage. The reaction of distributors comes primarily because we've reduced the trade margin. For many years, they were delimited, and I'm of the opinion that in crisis situations, everyone must bear their part of the responsibility, including oil companies and distributors. Their reaction is such 'because we've cut their salaries' more than it being about a real danger of shortages,'' Davor Filipovic points out.

Asked whether additional aid packages will be provided for the most vulnerable among us, such as farmers and fishermen who are in a difficult situation due to the high price of blue diesel, the minister said:

"Since April the 1st, 2022, the Croatian Government has responded with a large package of measures amounting to five billion kuna. Were it not for the intervention of the Government, there would have been a larger increase in the price of electricity, and the same would've been true for gas. We're going to be monitoring the situation and making adequate and timely decisions, as we've done so far.''

"The plan is to double the capacity of LNG Terminal on Krk"

Minister Davor Filipovic also referred to the issue of Janaf and distribution, as well as the issue of LNG Terminal on the island of Krk.

"This new situation puts the Republic of Croatia in a position to become an energy hub and an important player when it comes to energy in this part of Europe. Janaf is in a situation where, with the existing capacities, we can satisfy, for example, all the needs of neighbouring Hungary. Janaf's capacity is 11.4 million tonnes, and Hungary needs 8.1 million.

Without any investment, we can supply oil to Hungary. With certain investments, Janaf can double those capacities. From that aspect, we're in a very good position. When we talk about the LNG Terminal on Krk, there is no European official, when I go to Brussels or somewhere else, who doesn't draw attention to the importance of it. It was a wise move by the government. The plan is to double the capacity of Krk's LNG Terminal to 6.1 billion cubic metres. In order to ensure the supply of Croatia, but also in order to be able to supply Slovenia. We're thinking about supplying gas to Bosnia and Herzegovina as well in the foreseeable future,'' he pointed out, adding that the whole situation makes Croatia a serious player on the new energy map of Europe.

A new package of sanctions against Russia is ready, and it regards a total ban on Russian oil imports. What is the situation here in Croatia?

"When it comes to oil, it's already being imported from other sources. Russian oil doesn't come to Croatia through Janaf. The focus is on the security of the energy supply in Croatia. Our underground gas storage will be replenished by November the 1st, 2022, to 90 percent capacity. HEP has been granted a state guarantee that it can take out a loan of 400 million euros, so that our hospitals and maternity hospitals can function smoothly,'' Filipovic assured.

Prices are rising day by day, and if this inflationary pressure continues, it will be harder and harder for the average person to get by.

"Inflation isn't only a problem being faced by Croatia but by the whole world. Prices are going up and everything should be done to mitigate these inflationary shocks on the economy,'' he pointed out, adding that they are looking for a way to help. He noted that it's true that the whole situation is slowing down growth projections, but that none of the world's experts believe that there will be a global recession.

"There will be cases where some countries will find themselves in such a situation, but not the global economy as a whole," he said.

Croatia's 2023 accession to the Eurozone will be extremely helpful

"Entry will make it easier for the country in any case, especially when it comes to crisis situations. There are going to be many advantages at our disposal when we enter the Eurozone. Currency risks will disappear, and conversion costs will also become a thing of the past. Numerous exporters welcome the decision, and tourists will benefit more. There will also be an increase in the country's credit rating, as announced by certain agencies,'' claimed Davor Filipovic, adding that the costs of introducing the euro in Croatia are minimal when compared to the longterm benefits.

"Very soon, we'll have a tender of two billion kuna, which will be aimed at micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. In order to use the money to increase competitiveness, to digitise processes, to use everything that can be used in the direction of the green transition," he said.

As for cutting parafiscal levies, Minister Davor Filipovic says they have already begun the process.

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

Friday, 13 May 2022

Filipović: Janaf Can Significantly Increase Oil Transport To Hungary

ZAGREB, 13 May 2022- Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Davor Filipović said on Friday that the Adriatic Oil Pipeline can significantly increase its oil transport capacity toward Hungary even without additional investment and Croatia will work on becoming an important factor in Europe's energy sector.

Responding to questions from reporters at a press conference, where he presented a call for applications for co-financing from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NPOO), regarding the statement by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban that Hungary had the sea taken away from it, Filipović said that Orban's statement was absolutely inappropriate.

In the context of the entire situation, Filopvić said that Croatia is working on becoming an important factor with regard to Europe's energy sector.

"Janaf's current capacity can be increased, without any investment whatsoever, when it comes to oil transport to Hungary, while with certain investment it can be doubled," Filipović said. He added that that is the direction Croatia will go in and that it will take advantage of the present situation to position itself as best it can regarding energy in Europe.

He noted that according to the current capacity, Janaf can transport 11.4 million tonnes of oil to Hungary a year, and currently it is transporting just 2 million. Filipović said that this shows that without any further investment it can significantly increase oil transport toward Hungary.

"In this situation, Croatia is a solution both for Hungary, depending on the outcome of the sanctions, and for other EU countries as well," claimed Filipović.

According to Janaf's website, the pipeline designed capacity is 34 million tonnes of crude oil transported annually (MTA) and the installed capacity is 20 MTA. The system was built for the needs of refineries in Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina  (24 MTA), and for the users in Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia (10 MTA).

The prime minister's economic adviser, Zvonimir Savić, said that the prime minister has said several times that the recent circumstances have put Croatia in a position of additional energy strength. That means that its LNG terminal could become a "more serious factor."

For more, check out our politics section.

Wednesday, 11 May 2022

Economy Minister: Croatia Wants Stability and Progress of Bosnia and Herzegovina

ZAGREB, 11 May 2022 - Croatian Economy and Sustainable Development Minister Davor Filipović said in Sarajevo on Wednesday that Bosnia and Herzegovina had been and remained an important neighbour and partner to Croatia and that it was necessary to strengthen cooperation and support the stability of that country.

Filipović was attending the 11th Sarajevo Business Forum and in his welcome speech he underscored that Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković's government was taking the challenges of economic recovery and progress seriously and was committed to them despite the problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic and now the Russian aggression against Ukraine.

He said that the economic progress and recovery of the entire Western Balkans were important to Croatia, as the area is its immediate neighbourhood, which should and must have a clear perspective of membership of the European Union.

Therefore, he said, Croatia will always be ready to offer its knowledge and experience necessary for the implementation of reforms important for European integration, and this is especially true for Bosnia and Herzegovina, where Croats are one of the three constituent peoples.

Croatia is strongly committed to the stability and security of Bosnia and Herzegovina and its progress towards Euro-Atlantic integration, said Filipović, adding that there were numerous opportunities for economic cooperation between the two countries.

For more, check out our politics section.

Wednesday, 27 April 2022

Plenković Presents Šimpraga, Filipović, Piletić as New Cabinet Members

ZAGREB, 27 April 2022 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Wednesday after a meeting of the parliamentary majority that he would nominate Anja Šimpraga as a new deputy prime minister, Davor Filipović as the new labour minister and Marin Piletić as the new economy minister.

Speaking to the press after presenting the candidates to the coalition partners, Plenković said all three had known for 20 days that they would be nominated, but the announcement was postponed until after the Easter holidays and the completion of negotiations with trade unions led by Labour Minister Josip Aladrović.

"They are the new generation, they are very young and I think six cabinet members were born in the 1980s, which speaks to the trend of politically rejuvenating the government", Plenković said.

The new ministers are expected to take office on Friday, after being heard by the relevant parliamentary committees and voted in.

Plenković once again thanked the outgoing ministers for their contributions.

He said new business challenges awaited Economy Minister Tomislav Ćorić and that the ruling HDZ would support him for the position of central bank vice governor.

As for Aladrović and Deputy PM Boris Milošević, who are under investigation by the State Prosecutor's Office, Plenković said that if they were not proven guilty, the government's door would be open and that he was confident they might contribute to it in the future.

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

Wednesday, 27 April 2022

Economy Minister Ćorić Confirms His Departure From Government

ZAGREB, 27 April 2022 - Economy and Sustainable Development Minister Tomislav Ćorić confirmed on Wednesday he was leaving the government, saying he was satisfied with what he had done during the last five and a half years in office.

Speaking to reporters ahead of a cabinet meeting, Ćorić described his term in the government of Prime Minister Andrej Plenković as five and a half years of work experience with difficult and less difficult moments. He said he was leaving with mixed feelings, but that ultimately he was satisfied.

He said that his decision making was guided by his profession and that he would not change any of his decisions. He recalled that his decisions concerned the LNG terminal and added that during his term Croatia had made progress in waste management, utility infrastructure and energy.

Ćorić said he was confident that his successor, Davor Filipović, would do his best in this largest government department.

Ćorić did not explicitly say whether he would continue his career at the Croatian National Bank, as speculated in the media, stressing that the Zagreb School of Economics was his base.

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

Page 1 of 2

Search