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.

Friday, 10 January 2020

Krk Recognized Among 10 Energy Sustainable Islands in European Union

January 10, 2020 - The Clean Energy Secretariat of the EU Islands ranked Krk among the top ten best practices in the whole of Europe related to the transition of energy.

Novi List reports that the island of Krk is one of the Croatian leaders in the efforts to implement programs related to ecology, energy efficiency and the transition to clean sources. Thus, it has been recognized as one of the ten best examples of good practice across Europe.

Namely, Krk is "seen, monitored and recognized" in the EU capital for their efforts to make their island clean, that is, green and (energy) sustainable.

In addition to the island of Krk, which is the only Croatian island to be included in the prestigious list of European energy-transition islands, the Dutch island of Ameland, the Irish Aran Islands, the Portuguese Azores, the Isle of Gigha, the Swedish Gotland, the Spanish Menorca, the Italian Pantelleria, the Danish Samso and the Greek Tilos are also on the list of good practices. 

Recall, in 2012, the people of Krk adopted the "Island with 0 percent CO2 emissions" strategy, aiming to make the island the first CO2 neutral and energy self-sufficient island in the Mediterranean.

In the meantime, Krk has also done a study on wind farm development and solar power plant integration.

The use of LED technologies has reduced electricity consumption from 1.02 million kWh in 2010 to 734,864 kWh in 2018.

In order to reduce emissions, that is, carbon dioxide, which comes from traffic in 53 percent of the island's total emissions, they have also worked on an electromobility program by building 12 charging stations for electric vehicles, and more recently eight charging stations for 80 electric bikes (which should soon come into use through a bike-sharing system).

The island of Krk also has an energy cooperative (founded in 2012), and two energy transition management companies have recently been established - Island Krk Energy (which will coordinate the process production and transmission of clean, solar energy from the future solar power plant Barbičin), but also Smart Island Krk, which, according to the intention of its founders from local self-government circles, should focus on smart processes and digitization.

Island Krk Energy develops a plan for the construction and operation of a 5 MW solar power plant, which should rise above Baska already this year. According to the plan of representatives of local self-governments and utilities, co-ownership in this project (and facility) should also be made available to all islanders, or island companies.

The same document published by the Clean Energy Secretariat of the EU Islands also recalls that local authorities in Krk adopted an updated version of their "Zero Emissions Development Strategy" in 2018 as an impetus for integrated and sustainable island development.

These efforts introduced a long-term socio-economic development model, with a particular focus on energy savings by increasing energy efficiency and the share of renewable energy sources (wind, solar and biogas).

The strategy envisages about 36.8 MWP of new photovoltaic installations (on roofs), as well as an additional 4 MWP of photovoltaic installations on the earth in the near future.

In addition, the plan also targets 25.2 MWP of wind power and 250 KWP of biogas plants.

The investment, whose total value is estimated at 89.65 million euros, is expected to make Krk completely energy independent in the coming decades.

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Rijeka Airport to Hit 200,000 Passengers For First Time, Still Far Behind Others in Croatia

November 20, 2019 - For the first time in its history, Rijeka Airport will reach 200,000 passengers. But how does this compare to the other airports in Croatia? A closer look. 

Novi List writes that for the past seven to eight years, the airport on Krk has made its way from an airport threatened with closure, with traffic barely at fifty thousand passengers, a building that hadn’t seen any renovations since the early 1970s, and business dependent on grants from the budget, to an airport that manages to cover operating costs, while generating profits. Furthermore, more than thirty million kuna was invested in the renovation of the building, new facilities, as well as the necessary infrastructure and equipment.

As good as it may sound at first glance, Rijeka still lags far behind all airports in Croatia, apart from Osijek. Zagreb, Split, and Dubrovnik have millions of passengers, so they should not be compared, but Pula and Zadar, which, similar to Rijeka, are highly seasonal airports, exceed half a million passengers a year, which is the goal of Rijeka Airport. With just 200,000 passengers, it is nowhere near that figure, but the growth of passenger traffic in recent years shows that there is room for progress, and Rijeka Airport is at a turning point at the co-owners, with the largest share in Croatia (55 percent), followed by the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County (20 percent), will have to make the right moves with the tourism economy of the country and region. Rijeka would at least reach Zadar and Pula, of which the tourism sector would benefit the most, as well as the economy as a whole.

Deputy Mayor of Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, Marko Boras Mandic, said that by setting up a new administration and investing, the county had turned the negative trends that prevailed at the airport just seven years ago.

“With 200,000 passengers, I believe that we have reached our maximum of what we, together with the Kvarner Tourist Board and local governments, could do. We managed to stop the shutdown of the Airport, when it was considered, at the national level, that Croatia did not need it. At that time, the development of the Zadar Airport, which with fifteen thousand passengers, came to over half a million today, as well as Pula, was primarily encouraged. Unfortunately, at that time, many tourist workers in Kvarner supported the thesis that this was an auto destination and that we did not need the airport. We managed to deny it,” says Boras Mandic.

Through the combined advertising system, the counties and the tourist boards are investing around HRK 6 million a year in the development of air traffic in Rijeka, but Boras Mandic believes that with changes to the provisions on the collection of tourist taxes, the tourist boards will have more money to be directed towards air traffic.

“Majority stakeholders and politics are now on the move. It should be made clear that we currently have political trump cards that we must use - Croatian National Tourist Board Director Kristjan Stanicic, Transport Minister Oleg Butkovic and Tourism Minister Gari Capelli, three key persons for the development of the Rijeka Airport, are from this region and I believe they recognize the importance of the second tourist region in Croatia and many second cities. It is not necessary to look for the impossible, but only what is economically justified. 

When Bozidar Kalmeta was Minister of Transport, Zadar Airport was growing at a rapid rate, just as Pula was growing during the term of Tourism Minister Lorencin, as they recognized the potential of these airports. I believe that the mentioned three will equally know the potential of Rijeka Airport. First and foremost, Rijeka will receive at least one hundred thousand seats a year through the Flight Incentive Program (PSO), and that the funds for joint advertising will be increased and that conditions will be created for Eurowings or another company to establish its base on Krk. With these three conditions, we can reach half a million passengers. We have the same majority owner, but also totally different policies and investments in airports, with Rijeka getting the least, even though it is the airport that needs the most development. And in the way that, as we finance the development of less developed counties, the development of Rijeka Airport can be funded from the earnings at larger airports and tourist boards,” says Boras Mandic.

Airport director Tomislav Palalic says the changes to the PSO program would encourage flights within Croatia as well as the EU (in which Rijeka now has only four thousand subsidized seats on planes a year, with Pula and Zadar at seventy thousand each, and Split over 200 thousand ), and traffic could increase by another 20 to 100 percent in the next year.

“With the increase in the number of passengers and operations, we directly influence the development of accompanying external service providers, in particular, the Croatian Air Navigation Control and the INA d.d. and we encourage them to develop their resources at the Rijeka Airport site, which by their work greatly influences the provision of services to all entities at the Rijeka Airport,” says Palalić.

Rijeka Airport has resolved property legal relations on the land on which it is located in the past, adding that it has acquired the basic preconditions for applying to all types of sources of funds, especially EU funds, to which the Airport will apply for new development projects.

“Another prerequisite for upgrading the infrastructure in order to optimize and modernize the capacities in some parts is to prepare the project documentation and obtain the associated permits, which is intensively done on major projects such as the construction of a subway connection of the passenger terminal building with the bus station on the D102 Most - Krk road, the expansion of the aircraft platform and the construction of a vertical runway in relation to the existing one, to cancel the negative impact of storms on the existing runway and thus the availability of the same 365 days a year,” says Palalic.

Rijeka Airport expanded its operations beyond the airport last year and now provides training for airport staff, as well as a screening service for passengers at the Losinj airport, and intends to apply the same at large airports with traffic greater than two million passengers and at small sports airports.

“We went to the furthest airport away, Vis Airport, where we expect a location permit and the approval of the Croatian Civil Aviation Agency soon, and we even hope to put it into operation for the 2020 summer season,” says Palalic.

Regarding the investments made so far in the system of infrastructure, as well as the equipment that serves the safety of performing aviation operations, they proudly point out that Rijeka is today among the more modern airports in Croatia, and by some systems also the first thanks to the Ministry of Transport and the County of Primorje-Gorski Kotar as the two largest co-owners.

Despite this, Rijeka Airport, in relation to all other Airports in which Croatia is the majority owner, receives the least amount of funds directly and indirectly, which, even with the present indicators, is considered insufficient, but it is slowly but surely changing thanks to the Ministry of the Sea, Traffic and Infrastructure, says the director.

About the future development of Rijeka Airport and the allocation of larger incentives, primarily through the PSO program, the Ministry said that over the past three years, their budget has invested more than HRK 14 million, and over the last seven years, over thirty million.

“Rijeka Airport marked last year with historical records, generating a total of 183,606 passengers, and this trend continues this year, as the results in the first nine months indicate an increase of 11.1 percent compared to last year. Such a significant increase in passenger traffic, among other things, is the result of numerous activities, efforts and financial resources that the Rijeka Airport Administration, in cooperation with the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure and other stakeholders, have invested in the introduction of new routes, as well as extending the operation period of existing ones.

Considering the potential of traffic development at the Rijeka Airport, it is necessary to take into account the plans of the Management Board as well as the potential of generating additional economic activities and traffic demand in the environment served by the Rijeka Airport. Comparisons with other airports in the Republic of Croatia are not good because each operates in the circumstances unique to its environment where the market does not have the same potential or does not realize it with the same dynamics. Thus, the process of analyzing the possibility of establishing lines between Rijeka Airport and destinations in the other EU Member States, also within the PSO system, is currently underway. It is also important to emphasize that investments in the infrastructure of the airport, but of local communities, primarily tourist entities, will depend, to a large extent, on the increase in the number of passengers at Rijeka Airport,” the Ministry said.

Director of the Croatian National Tourist Board Kristjan Stanicic points out that Rijeka Airport has the largest space for increasing the number of passengers in the tourism sector, since Kvarner is still lagging behind other tourist regions by the number of airlines and more markets. According to Stanicic, they could open new markets and extend the tourist season.

“Airports play an important role in the development of all tourist destinations as they enable faster and easier travel to the destination, which is an important criterion when choosing a destination for certain segments of tourists as well as tourists from more distant markets. In line with these trends, it is desirable that airports, such as destination hotels, cooperate more closely with each other to establish and maintain business relationships with tour operators, as this is one of the most effective ways to positively increase the number of flights. The added synergy of all stakeholders in joint appearance and promotion in established and emerging markets is key to strong marketing support in introducing new airlines,” says Stanicic.

The trend in tourism, he added, is that the number of guests traveling by plane is continuously growing, so he sees the opportunity for Rijeka Airport as well.

“There is certainly room for further growth and progress, especially in the tourist sense, as it is in a good geographical position near the most popular destinations in Kvarner, but also near key road routes. The Croatian National Tourist Board will also contribute to harnessing these potentials and stimulating further traffic growth, primarily through joint advertising with strategic partners. Kvarner has all the potential for quality positioning as an airline destination in foreign markets. In the Croatian National Tourist Board, together with the system of tourist boards, as part of strategic projects, we very intensively cooperate and support partners, that is, tour operators and air carriers that have programs for Croatia and Rijeka Airport as well. For these activities, we have secured around HRK 40 million this year for the implementation of strategic promotional campaigns in broadcast markets, or for strategic cooperation with airlines and tour operators, which have organized programs for Croatia in their offer,” says Stanicic.

To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Friday, 12 October 2018

Company for Works on Krk Bridge Chosen

The Rijeka-Zagreb Motorway has chosen the best bidder for the very comprehensive job.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

After Project Failure, Croatia's First ''Crypto-Villa'' Goes On Sale

An ambitious and unusual plan involving Blockchain falls through.

Thursday, 7 June 2018

New Maritime Heritage Centre Opens on Krk

Something new for Krk!

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Adriatic Smart Islands Becoming Source for New Solutions

Krk will host a conference on smart islands this October.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

VIDEO: The Winter Beauty of Island Krk in 4K Resolution

Young photographer Srđan Hulak continues his video series showing the beauty of island Krk in 4K resolution. 

Friday, 3 March 2017

Plavi Jadran: The Project Behind Keeping Croatia's Coastline Clean

Meet Plavi Jadran, the organization behind keeping Croatia’s coastline clean.

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