Thursday, 21 October 2021

Electricity and Gas Prices Won't Go Up Until Heating Season Ends, Says Prime Minister

ZAGREB, 21 Oct 2021 - Electricity and gas prices for Croatian households and "a huge share" of businesses will not increase until the end of the heating season early in April, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Thursday.

The only ones that could feel the increase are businesses that did not have long- but short-term gas supply contracts, he added.

He was speaking to the press in Brussels as he arrived at an EU summit that will discuss the surge in fuel prices, among other things.

Plenković said the government had various tools at its disposal that it would use depending on developments with energy prices.

For now, the government has limited the maximum prices of petrol and diesel. "Thereby we stabilized expectations over the next month to see how the situation with oil prices will develop and in that way cushion any blow to households."

He said that after the government's abundant help to businesses during the pandemic and now that conditions had been created for the economy to rebound strongly, he did not wish living standards to be in jeopardy.

Rule of law

The EU summit will also address the rule of law after the Polish Constitutional Court found that in some elements national law is above European law, which was roundly criticized in the EU.

Plenković said it was necessary to first hear out Polish Prime Minister Mazeusz Morawiecki, who sent a memo to all member states' leaders, explaining what the court really decided.

"It's important that the EU does not divide because in times of crisis it's good for it to be as homogeneous as possible. But, on the other hand, when we were entering the EU, we too had to change our constitution quite a lot in order to align with the European legal order. Therefore our position is that we should honor all that we agreed to when we entered the EU."

The summit will also address the COVID situation, foreign relations, migration, trade, and the digital society.

Plenković said the situation in Croatia's neighborhood would be discussed tonight as a continuation of the EU-Western Balkans summit held earlier this month.

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

Thursday, 30 September 2021

Minister Rules Out Household Electricity and Gas Price Hikes in Next Months

ZAGREB, 30 Sept 2021 - Economy Minister Tomislav Ćorić said on Thursday that the prices of electricity and gas for households would not rise in the next few months, and added it was good news ahead of the start of the heating season.

Household energy price hikes spreading in Europe will not spill over to us in the next few months, Ćorić said before the start of the cabinet meeting in Zagreb.

The minister expects the gas prices to be stable until April 2022 when the gas heating season ends.

Households should not expect a rise in gas prices until 31 March, he said.

Ćorić expects stability in electricity prices in the next months in Croatia.

The government has some space for maneuver when the prices should be determined, he added.

After the escalation of the situation in this segment over the recent months globally, the Croatian minister expects it to calm down.

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

Wednesday, 8 September 2021

Economy Minister Tomislav Ćorić: No Reason at the Moment for Electricity and Gas Price Hike

ZAGREB, 8 Sept, 2021 - Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Tomislav Ćorić said on Wednesday that he does not see any reason that would lead to higher electricity and gas bills for citizens.

Asked ahead of an inner cabinet meeting whether electricity and gas bills would increase, Ćorić said that he did not see any reason at the moment for that to happen.

"There is no absolute certainty that that won't occur, however, I do not see any reason for it to happen," he said.

In reference to an electricity price hike for enterprises, Ćorić said that one needs to be aware of the fact that the domestic electricity market is liberalised and functions in line with European and global markets.

"Those enterprises who concluded long-term contracts last year will not feel the price hike in the coming period, however, those enterprises which are doing that now will feel the adjustment on the market," he underscored.

The assumption is that many enterprises have protected themselves against unexpected changes and Ćorić doesn't believe that the price hike for electricity will be as high as 40% as reported in the media over the past few days, however, he added, a certain adjustment in prices will occur.

"This tells us that business conditions need to be stabilised, that is to avoid certain risks, and that can be achieved so that prices are agreed for a longer period," said Ćorić.

Asked whether entrepreneurs who didn't manage to conclude long-term contracts would transfer the higher cost to its consumers by increasing the price of their products, Ćorić said that the price of electricity is one of the key inputs in production which directly results in an increase in the cost of production.

"You either have to decrease your margin or increase the price of your product. That is how the market functions," he concluded, adding that those enterprises which were astute and contracted the price of electricity can now provide more competitive products.

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

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Krk Island LNG Terminal Capacity Booked, Gas Prices Could Go Down, Says Minister

ZAGREB, June 16, 2020 - Environment and Energy Minister Tomislav Coric has said that, now that 98% of the capacity of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal on Krk island has been booked, the LNG Croatia company's revenue in the next five years will exceed €100 million, and gas prices could go down.

"The completion of this project and its inauguration on 1 January 2021 puts Croatia on Europe's energy map. The project primarily provides for the security of energy supply in Croatia and contributes to the EU's energy supply security, and it helps avoid any additional costs for our citizens... we expect the price of natural gas in Croatia in the coming period to drop," Coric said on Tuesday.

LNG Croatia's income in the next five years is estimated to exceed €100 million, Coric said, adding that this should provide the terminal's owners, the HEP power provider and the Plinacro gas company, with very decent revenues.

"With this project, launched two and a half years ago, we have shown that big infrastructure projects, if managed well, indeed make sense and that based on our energy development strategy for the period until 2030 Croatia is moving along the path of increasing energy self-sufficiency and energy system efficiency," said Coric.

Asked about the participation of Hungarian companies in the project, given that Hungary was at one time interested only in ownership of LNG Croatia and not in renting its capacity, Coric said that in addition to an EU grant, Croatia had decided to finance a part of construction work on the terminal from the state budget while the rest was financed by corporate investments and loans.

He said that he was glad the terminal's capacity had been leased to more than one client and noted that he did not see any reason for Hungary to enter the ownership structure of LNG Croatia.

Coric said that the terminal was built in line with the highest environmental, security and other standards and that he believed resistance to it by the local population and environmental organisations would wane.

LNG Croatia director Hrvoje Krhen said the terminal would be put into operation on January 1, 2021.

The entire capacity of the LNG terminal on Krk Island has been booked for the next three gas years, LNG Croatia said on Monday, adding that part of the capacity has been reserved by Powerglobe Qatar LLC.

Pursuant to the rules of use of the terminal for liquefied natural gas, all available capacities have been entirely booked with the latest reservation made by Powerglobe Qatar LLC, which has booked gas capacities up until the 2034/2035 gas season, the company said.

The terminal has a technical capacity of 2.6 billion cubic metres a year.

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Croatia Gas App: Student Launches Gas Station Locator

Gas Station Locator: A student from Osijek just launched an app which shows where to find the cheapest nearby fuel in Croatia! The application, which is available in English, German and Croatian, currently tracks prices at gas stations from the five major oil companies in Croatia. There are also plans to expand the service to the rest of Southeast Europe.

As reported by Mladen Smrekar/tportal on November 20, 2019; the new application was created by Matej Arlović, a 23-year-old student of Software Engineering at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Computing and Information Technology in Osijek.

Gas Station Locator

"After almost four months of development and administrative tasks, I’ve reached the moment where the Gas Station Locator application is ready for public release," said Matej Arlović, a 23-year-old student of Software Engineering at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Computer and Information Technology in Osijek, on Facebook. “A big thank you to everyone who helped me with this project: from developing and testing concepts, to writing articles and translations. This is my first experience with Android apps, so if you find any bugs let me know and I will fix them.”

The application monitors the prices at gas stations from five major oil companies in Croatia: INA, Petrol, Tifon, AdriaOil and APIOS. Information on the companies, gas stations and the prices of petroleum products are checked and updated regularly.

croatia_gas_app_02.png

Cheapest Fuel in Croatia

"The goal is for the user to come up with the cheapest nearby fuel options, which result in significant savings," Arlović says. “Our algorithm does not predict fuel prices but uses current prices at gas stations. Fuel prices are updated on a weekly basis.”

The Gas Station Locator uses the user’s location to find the nearest gas station with cheapest fuel. Your location is detected when you enter the application, and if you are on the move you can refresh your location by clicking the button. Refreshing the location also moves the marker showing the user’s location, and the algorithm automatically searches for gas stations in the new location. If the new location is more than 100 kilometers away, the data will reload.

The user’s location is not saved, however, and the application will delete it after shutdown. As the team at Gas Station Locator points out: their goal is to preserve users' privacy.

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Additional Services

In addition to fuel prices, the app shows additional services offered by gas stations: from restaurants and cafés to car washes. You can also find the gas station’s business hours and opening/closing times. Holidays and seasonal hours are also calculated within the algorithm.

You can download the app from the Google Play Store here and on the Gas Station Locator website, where you can find additional information about the service.

Follow our Made in Croatia page to keep up with new apps and products from Croatia. 

Friday, 8 February 2019

Gas Prices in Croatia to Rise in 2019, and Again in 2020

While the news is definitely not unexpected, it's never a good thing when the public finds out about the increasing prices of a commodity. That's exactly what happened today, as HERA (Croatian Energy Regulatory Agency) announced the increase in the gas prices for later in 2019, but also another one coming in 2020.

So, from April 1st the natural gas prices will be almost 7% higher for the end-consumers. The increase is explained by the increased wholesale component of the price, which they say has gone up by 9.7%. That new price will be applicable by March 31st next year, and it can be expected that another increase in the price will happen then, because of the situation on the natural gas market in the world.

The final price after this change that the Croatian homes will be paying is not known yet, as not all of the companies who serve as middle-men have the same price.

The initial calculations have projected that the possible increase of the gas prices might be somewhere around 10%, and in the last couple of days, there was talk about the possibility that the government might propose the reduction of the VAT bracket for the natural gas distribution to the end-consumers. It is currently taxed at the general, 25% rate, while some other, comparable commodities are taxed at a 13% rate, such as electricity and water supply and garbage removal. Some sources from the government have confirmed off the record that there have been discussions of the reduction of the VAT rate for the natural gas, especially after the food has also been placed in the 13% bracket at the beginning of 2019. Unfortunately, the change has not happened yet, but if the government wants to make that move, there's still ample time to do it before the end of March.

In 2021, it is announced, the price of the natural gas for the end consumers will stop being created this way, as it will be completely liberalized and competing companies will be able to attract customers by offering them lower prices, similarly to what has happened with the electricity prices in the past decade in Croatia. 

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