Tuesday, 23 June 2020

INA Seeks Strategic Investment Status for Sisak Biorefinery Project

ZAGREB, June 23, 2020 - INA has submitted a request to the Ministry of Economy for the Sisak biorefinery project to be awarded strategic investment status, the oil company said in a press release on Tuesday.

The investment is worth €250 million, and part of that is expected to be covered from the EU Innovations Funds.

INA said that despite the challenging business climate, it is continuing strategic projects and the transformation of the Sisak refinery complex into an industrial centre. One of the activities in Sisak would be to develop a biorefinery thanks to which the company could produce second-generation bioethanol from biomass along with producing green energy.

In February, INA signed an agreement with the French AXENS group related to Futurol technology. At the end of last year, it also signed an agreement with the Belgian De Smet Engineers & Contractors to design the relevant base facility and its integration in the existing refinery structure.

INA has conducted testing of a mix of biomass as part of the EU GRACE (Growing Advanced Industrial Crops on Marginal Lands for Biorefineries), which has produced good results for the production of second-generation bioethanol.

The president of INA's management board, Sandor Fasimon, said that the project of developing a biorefinery is in accordance with the company's business plans and proof of INA's dedication to its "New Direction" programme.

The Sisak complex is important to INA's business and all the activities we are taking are a precondition for making a final investment decision. Support from the EU and the Croatian government is a key precondition to finally realise this significant project for Croatia and INA which entirely fits into Europe's Green Deal energy strategy, Fasimon underscored.

INA's New Direction 2023 programme foresees concentrating oil production at the Rijeka Refinery and transforming the Sisak complex into an industrial center. In addition to the biorefinery component, other alternative locations in Sisak include the production of bitumen, which should be operational in the first half of 2021 and followed by the production of lubricants for which a feasibility study is being conducted.

INA also plans a logistics centre and currently a budget for the centre's construction is being prepared as well as applying for a building permit for a solar electricity plant, the company said.

INA recalled that works at the Rijeka Refinery are also underway for the construction of a heavy residue refining unit worth €533.3 million.

In June a test run for a propane-propylene unit valued at €73.3 million was conducted, which is a valuable product in the petrochemical industry, INA said.

Saturday, 20 June 2020

INA Donates Enormous Sums to Zagreb Cultural, Scientific Institutions

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 18th of June, 2020, the funding has been provided to the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, the Museum of Arts and Crafts and the Archaeological Museum in Zagreb. INA has so far donated more than 1,500,000 kuna to the fight against the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and repair the damage caused by the Zagreb earthquake that struck the capital back in March.

Through its daily operations and socially responsible behaviour, INA continues to be a partner and support for the community. Aware of the difficult situation in which the historic core of the city of Zagreb found itself after the devastating earthquake, INA decided to donate an additional 800,000 kuna to the aforementioned institutions.

"On behalf of all members of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts and myself, I'd like to sincerely thank you for the generous donation you sent us, which we really need in these difficult times. By supporting the highest Croatian scientific and artistic institution, INA, as one of the historically leading companies in Croatia, has once again expressed its social responsibility by providing an inspiring example of solidarity and friendship. We truly appreciate your valuable and quick help, which will be invaluable in the restoration of the Academy's property,'' said Academician Velimir Neidhardt, President of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, which owns damaged buildings located in the historic protected part of town.

"On my own behalf and on behalf of all employees of MUO, and I'm convinced that I speak on behalf of the entire cultural public, I'd like to express my gratitude to INA for the valuable donation that will be an incentive for us, despite all of the adversity, to equip the museum building for visitors and continue with important programmes to preserve the cultural identity of us all. Thank you, INA, for recognising our efforts and vision to restore the splendor of one of the oldest fundamental national cultural institutions in the Croatia, the Museum of Arts and Crafts,'' said Miroslav Gasparovic, the director of the Museum of Arts and Crafts, which was closed to the public due to severe damage caused by the Zagreb earthquake.

"Thank you for your contribution to enable us to return the possibility of re-exhibiting archeological material to the citizens of the City of Zagreb and the general public as soon as possible. We believe that with the help and support, we'll be able to restore the permanent display we had before the earthquake struck, improve the presentation and ensure the safety of our visitors. We'd like especially thank you for recognising the urgency of the action, which enabled us to start as soon as possible with interventions in the rehabilitation of the building, restoration and other interventions,'' said the director of the Archaeological Museum in Zagreb, Sanjin Mihelic.

The Vranyczany-Hafner Palace, built back in 1879 and which has housed the Archaeological Museum in Zagreb since 1945, has been given the yellow label "temporarily unusable" and the museum is closed to visitors due to earthquake damage.

"The oil and gas industry has been affected by the crisis, which isn't something that has bypassed INA either. We're adjusting our business and we've been forced to revise our investment plans, but even in such a situation, in INA and the entire MOL Group, we're aware of the need to invest in the quality of life of the society in which we live and work. Residents of Zagreb, as well as numerous institutions in the protected historical core that were destroyed in the earthquake, are facing difficult circumstances. It's our duty to help, because this is the moment when we can show that together we're stronger than a natural disaster. INA has been on this path for years and continuously provides support to scientific, cultural and artistic institutions, and we're going to continue to do so in the future,'' said INA CEO Sandor Fasimon.

In order to help repair the damage caused by the earthquake that hit Zagreb, INA donated 250,000 kuna to the "Together for Zagreb" campaign and a further 100,000 kuna to the Children's Clinic in Zagreb back in April.

In addition, 250,000 kuna was donated to the ''Dr Fran Mihaljevic'' Clinic for Infectious Diseases and the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County Health Centre in order to help fight the coronavirus pandemic. 100,000 kuna was donated to the Dr. Ivo Pedisic General Hospital in Sisak and the Red Cross.

The Special Hospital for Childrens' Chronic Diseases in Gornja Bistra and the Croatian Institute of Emergency Medicine were donated 50,000 kuna each, the Rebro Pediatric Oncology Foundation was provided with a donation of 200,000 kuna, with the Pula General Hospital also receiving 100,000 kuna.

In addition, INA donated 50,000 kuna to the Kamensko Association, which sews cotton masks, while 10,000 kuna was donated to the Rudjer Boskovic Technical School in Vinkovci to make visors on 3D printers that the school then donated to Croatian hospitals. INA also helped supply the Civil Protection Headquarters of the Republic of Croatia with a deficient surface disinfectant by donating 720 litres of INA Denizol, a new product produced by INA MAZIVA, which was also donated to the Zagreb Homes for the Elderly.

Corporate responsibility and social engagement are an integral part of INA's business operations and are part of a long tradition focused on social and economic progress. The preservation of the cultural public good is certainly one of the key features for the further development of our society.

For more, follow our lifestyle page.

Thursday, 18 June 2020

INA Donates HRK 800 K Each To 3 Cultural Institutions Damaged In Earthquake

ZAGREB, June 18, 2020 - The INA oil company has donated a total of HRK 2.4 million to three cultural and scientific institutions, with each receiving HRK 800,000 to repair the damage caused by a destructive earthquake that struck Zagreb in March this year.

The Croatian Academy of Science and Arts (HAZU), Museum of Arts and Crafts (MUO) and Archaeological Museum on Thursday each received the donations in the HAZU palace, which too was damaged in the quake.

INA CEO Sandor Fasimon presented the donations to HAZU president Velimir Neidhardt, MUO director Miroslav Gasparovic and the director of the Archaeological Museum, Sanjin Mihelic.

Thursday, 11 June 2020

Skoro: There Are Better Solutions in Energy Than Buying MOL's Stake in INA

ZAGREB, June 11, 2020 - Homeland Movement leader Miroslav Skoro said on Thursday he did not agree with the government's plan to buy MOL's stake in INA because he explained in Bjelovar, that money could be used for much better solutions that would increase Croatia's energy independence.

He described the sale of Croatian oil company INA as a process "in which a number of governments took part and which has caused irreversible damage to Croatia."

The Hungarian stake in INA has been estimated at HRK 16-17 billion and I believe that Croatia can make much better solutions in the energy sector for that money, Skoro told reporters.

"No one can buy Croatian oil sources, they can only get a concession. We import 40% of energy, yet we don't consider hydro-electric power plants as energy sources but have wind parks... We won't run further into debt to procure energy."

Skoro said the introduction of the euro should be put to a referendum, criticised the government's tax policy, saying foreign investors had a rule called Anything But Croatia and said he would join the March for Life.

He said the focus of his visit to Bjelovar was agriculture. "We live in a country which isn't sovereign in many areas, notably in the agriculture and food sector. The crisis caused by coronavirus gives us the opportunity to change a policy which is concentrated on trade and imports because we can feed not only Croatia but a much larger region too."

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Council For INA: Final Report From Lazard Expected In a Month

ZAGREB, June 10, 2020 - The financial advisory firm Lazard has presented a due diligence report on the INA oil company to the Council for INA, a final report is expected in about a month, and the first meeting with executives of the Hungarian oil group MOL is expected by the end of this month, Environment and Energy Minister Tomislav Coric said on Wednesday.

"The Council for INA today received the first preliminary report on due diligence from our consultant, Lazard. A final report is expected within a month. What follows is intense communication with the other party and in that context, we expect the first meeting with MOL by the end of the month," Coric told reporters after a meeting of the Council for INA.

He said they were "pleased with the work done." He did not reveal details of the report, saying that INA was listed on the stock exchange and that this "narrowed the government's maneuvering space."

The Council meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, and Lazard's representatives took part by video conference.

The Council for INA is a government advisory body established in January 2017 with the task of providing guidance and proposing measures and decisions for the preparation, implementation, and financing of the possible buyback of MOL's stake in INA.

MOL is the single largest shareholder in INA with 49.1% of shares, while the Croatian government holds 44.8%. The remaining 6.1% is held by private and institutional shareholders.

Prime Minister Plenkovic said in late 2016 that the government had decided to regain control of INA by buying back MOL's entire stake. The decision came after Croatia had lost an arbitration case it had initiated against MOL before the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law in Geneva.

The government selected the Anglo-French investment bank Lazard as a consultant in August 2019.

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

INA, JANAF Comment On Memorandum Of Understanding

ZAGREB, May 26, 2020 - The INA oil company and the JANAF oil pipeline operator on Tuesday commented on an article in Nacional weekly which claims it obtained a secret memorandum between the two companies whereby the prime minister allows the export of Croatian oil to Hungary and that the document undermines national interests.

The INA-JANAF memorandum of understanding is a non-binding document signed on 21 August 2018 with the goal of creating prerequisites for the adoption of business decisions which ensure greater profitability and the viability of INA's refining and thereby the whole company, INA said in a press release in response to the Nacional article.

JANAF responded too, saying in a press release that its management was planning and undertaking business activities aimed at increasing the company's revenue and profit as well as reducing and consolidating expenses.

INA explained the memorandum also in the context of its INA R&M New Direction 2023 program, which was launched in 2018 and which envisages concentrating oil processing in the Rijeka refinery and transforming the Sisak location into an industrial hub.

INA said the memorandum envisaged a better optimization of oil transport between JANAF's Sisak terminal and INA's Sisak refinery to enable selling oil at market prices and generating greater economic value. Oil from Croatian fields is processed at the Rijeka refinery and part of it is sold at market prices, INA said, adding that the Rijeka refinery processed more effectively 20% more oil than before and that the quantities covered Croatia's requirements. 

Saturday, 9 May 2020

INA Makes Generous Donation to SOS Children's Village Croatia

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 8th of May, 2020, INA has made yet another generous donation, following the large donation it gave to various Croatian health institutions a few weeks ago as part of the fight against the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19). 

INA has stated that helping out those who are the most in need motives and drives them, and as such, INA has continued its long-term cooperation with SOS Children's Village Croatia (SOS Dječje selo) in these challenging times we're facing. The company donated 130,000 kuna for the project "Our first 10 years - Stay at home in SOS Children's Village Croatia/Naših prvih 10 godina – Ostani doma u SOS Dječjem selu Hrvatska).''

Thanking INA for the generous donation, Mr. Zoran Relic, director of SOS Children's Village Ladimirevci said: "The month of May in our Children's Village in Ladimirevci is the happiest month because we're celebrating a birthday, and none of these birthdays over the last 10 years has passed without our friends from INA. INA's monetary donation, corporate volunteering to help maintain the infrastructure, Christmas gifts for the children of their own choosing, which INA's employees lovingly bought them, make growing up safer and happier for our kids. We'd like to thank you for ten years of loyalty and support. We stayed at home, and thanks to INA for staying with us!''

In addition to financial support, children in the care of the SOS Children's Village Croatia receivedsweets and cotton protective masks sewn by members of the Kamensko association, which has also become a partner of INA during the crisis caused by the pandemic.

INA's CEO Sándor Fasimon said: ''Even in these difficult times, when we're facing a pandemic and we're threatened by an economic crisis, we're not giving up on fulfilling our responsible role in society. We have always been with those who need help the most and we're proud that for many years we've been able to help children from the SOS Children's Village Croatia in order to more easily achieve quality conditions for creating a caring home for every child. At the moment, that is needed more than it ever was before,''

Adapting the daily lives of 240 children and young people in the care of SOS Children's Village Croatia to the situation caused by the coronavirus outbreak requires additional effort and the necessary resources to be made readily available. Hygiene measures for the prevention of the spread of the infection have been increased, and the children receive all the necessary help and support as they need it. All of this will will be easier to organise with the help of INA's kind donation.

Make sure to follow our lifestyle page for more.

Friday, 1 May 2020

INA Unions Want Government to Give up Dividend

ZAGREB, May 1, 2020 - The three biggest trade unions in the INA oil group have asked Prime Minister Andrej Plenković to get INA owners - the government and the Hungarian oil company MOL - to give up the payment of the dividend for 2019.

The also urged the government to consider the possibility of including INA and its companies in a set of measures aimed at preserving jobs.

"The financial reports clearly show the gravity of the consequences of the economic crisis and its effects on the INA Group, jeopardising more than 9,000 jobs," one of the unions said in a press release.

Another union said that the proposal to cover INA with the government measures that already benefited 84,000 employers was reasonable.

The unions demand the preservation of jobs, investments and economic activity.

 The INA Group generated HRK 3.95 billion from sales in the first quarter of 2020, which was down by 7% in comparison to the corresponding period of 2019, this leading oil and gas company stated on Thursday.

Furthermore, the company's financial statement shows that INA had a net loss of HRK 798 million in Q1 2020 as against a profit in the same period in 2019.

"Operations of INA, d.d. in Q1 2020 have witnessed unprecedented market dynamics, particularly at the end of the quarter. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic coupled with the disagreement within OPEC+ have led to a parallel supply and demand shock on global oil markets leading to a massive drop in oil & gas prices," reads a press release on INA's web site.

Additionally, INA experienced a cyber-attack which created operational challenges but core operations and market supply were not interrupted and the business continuity was ensured, said INA.

INA, d.d. revenues recorded a 6% decrease in line with the mentioned market conditions while the reported result turned negative and amounted HRK 531 million, primarily due to inventory revaluation driven by external environment.

"Exploration and Production EBITDA excluding special items decreased by 22% to HRK 419 million mainly caused by 11% lower realized hydrocarbon price and the natural decline in hydrocarbon production, primarily Croatian natural gas volumes."

Refining and Marketing including Consumer Services and Retail EBITDA excluding special items, hit by external drivers, was negative in the amount of HRK (978) million. Consumer Services sale quantities were only down by 4% in Q1, as the biggest drop in demand occurred at the end of the reporting period.

CAPEX was significantly lower in Q1 2020 compared to Q1 2019 due to the high base effect, as a major turnaround in the Rijeka refinery in 2019 boosted investments last year, INA said in the statement.

More news about INA can be found in the Business section.

Friday, 3 April 2020

INA Donates More Than 1.5 Million Kuna to Croatian Health Institutions

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 2nd of April, 2020, aware of the difficult circumstances in which the Croatian health system, institutions and civil society have found themselves in their efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus, which has been further aggravated by a strong earthquake hitting Zagreb, INA wants to facilitate the procurement of materials and equipment and help to repair the damage.

INA has been investing in improving the health care system in Croatia for many years now, and following the utterly unprecedented situation in which we're all now in - facing two extraordinary circumstances - a coronavirus pandemic and the aftermath of a severe earthquake in Zagreb, the company feels even more responsibility to provide assistance.

In order to help the extraordinary efforts of health professionals, INA donated a massive 250,000 kuna each to the Dr. Fran Mihaljević Clinic for Infectious Diseases and the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County Health Centre, and the Sisak General Hospital (Dr Ivo Pedisic) and the Croatian Red Cross were donated 100,000 kuna each.

The Special Hospital for Chronic Pediatric Diseases in Gornja Bistra and the Croatian Institute for Emergency Medicine were also donated 50,000 kuna each by INA. These huge donations will be used to procure protective equipment, medical supplies, disinfection devices and supplies, and medical equipment and devices needed to care for patients and to facilitate the organisation of emergency services.

The Rebro Pediatric Oncology Foundation was donated 200,000 kuna for the construction and equipping of their pediatric hematology and oncology departments, and 100,000 kuna was donated for the Pediatric Department at the Pula General Hospital. On top of all of that, INA donated a further 50,000 kuna to the Kamensko Association, which sews cotton masks for the Association of the Blind, DVD Selce, homeless people, users of soup kitchens and homes for the elderly and infirm, while the Ruđer Bošković Technical School from Vinkovci was donated 10,000 kuna to make visors on 3D printers that the school will then donate to Croatian hospitals.

To help repair the damage caused by the recent Zagreb earthquake, INA donated an additional 250,000 kuna to the Together for Zagreb campaign and another 100,000 kuna to the Zagreb Children's Diseases Clinic.

"The circumstances we're facing are truly unprecedented. This is the moment when we all need to come together, because only by working together can we overcome the challenges we're face these days. INA has been continuously supporting the Croatian healthcare system for many years through numerous donations to hospitals. We're now back once again side by side with our health care system and with all those who can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic and repair the effects of the Zagreb earthquake. As always, we want to help those who need it the most, join them, support them and thank them for everything they do,'' said INA's CEO Sándor Fasimon.

INA also helped supply the Civil Protection Headquarters of the Republic of Croatia by donating 720 liters of INA Denizol, a new product that INA LUBRICANTS began producing last week. For their utterly exceptional dedication to their life saving work, INA would like to thank all health professionals and is offering them free coffee at selected retail locations within the "Coffee for Heroes" campaign.

INA is also helping things run smoothly in the business sense during this difficult situation by ensuring the smooth supply of fuel to the Croatian market. By following all instructions and measures to combat the spread of coronavirus, business continuity has been ensured.

For rolling information and updates on coronavirus in Croatia, follow our dedicated section.

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Analysis of INA's Operations, Value to be Completed in Q2

ZAGREB, March 17, 2020 - The Council for INA on Tuesday accepted a report by its investment consultant on the course of due diligence in the Croatian oil company, defining the course of further activities for the possible purchase of INA shares held by the Hungarian oil and gas group MOL.

An analysis by the investment consultant on company's operations and value is expected in the second quarter, the government said in a statement.

The INA Council, an advisory body tasked with providing guidelines, taking action and putting forward proposals to the government regarding preparations for, implementation and financing of the possible purchase of MOL's stake in the company, held its 11th meeting today under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Andrej Plenković.

Representatives of the Lazard investment consultant and other professional consultants submitted a report to the Council on the course of due diligence in INA via video link.

"The Council accepted the report and determined the course of further activities in the process of the possible purchase of MOL's interest in the company, as part of which an analysis by the investment consultant of the company's operations and value can be expected in the second quarter of this year," said the government.

More INA news can be found in the Business section.

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