Wednesday, 3 November 2021

Could Blockchain Tech Reveal How Green Croatian LNG Terminal Really Is?

November the 3rd, 2021 - Blockchain technology is one of those things on everyone's lips of late, and while some tilt their heads in confusion, others are taking advantage. Could Blockchain tech reveal just how green the Croatian LNG Terminal actually is? Perhaps.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, gas is a generally accepted transitional energy source between the fossil and green eras, and in addition to the gas transported by standard pipelines, there's more and more gas from LNG. It is LNG that is increasingly the subject of analyses that question whether its use is really "transitional green" or whether it is ultimately closer to fossil fuels than anything else.

This is especially relevant here in Croatia because finally, at the beginning of this year, after decades of planning and design, the floating Croatian LNG Terminal in Omisalj on Krk was put into operation, which in the medium term should grow into a fixed project with a larger volume on the land.

As Gas outlook writes, the oil and gas industry is considering the use of Blockchain technology for digital monitoring of LNG freight transactions, and analysts estimate that this technology could be a solution to transparency concerns about carbon-neutral trading in this energy source.

The concept of a “carbon neutral” LNG isn't without its problems and Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) and it is under the increasing control of investors, governments, lenders, employees and consumers. There are currently no standardised methods for accurately measuring and monitoring direct and indirect emissions associated with the entire LNG supply chain, but there are certain efforts that are emerging.

“There is concern among all stakeholders about the integrity of carbon dioxide reporting, the consistency and methodologies applied. Previous attempts by the industry have been fraught with problems of double counting, the origin of compensation, the transparency of verification methodologies and data quality issues,'' warned Scott Waller, consultant at EY.

This is particularly the case as the LNG industry seeks to extend and expand the use of natural gas - for example by using ships on LNG - in line with the argument that it compensates for higher emissions from the use of coal, oil and diesel.

At this point, there is a lack of evidence to substantiate this claim, but the UN estimates that Blockchain technology will be able to provide greater transparency around greenhouse gas emissions and facilitate the monitoring and reporting of reduced emissions.

This would solve the possible problems of double counting, as reporting and verification of climate measures are crucial to achieving the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, and its even stricter modifications, some of which are likely to be agreed at the ongoing Glasgow Climate Change Conference in Scotland.

For more on the Croatian LNG Terminal, check out our business section.

Friday, 9 July 2021

Plenković: LNG Terminal Put Croatia on Energy Map of the World

ZAGREB, 9 July 2021 - The LNG terminal on the northern Adriatic island of Krk has put Croatia on the energy map of Europe and the world, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković told reporters in Sofia on Friday where he was attending a summit of the Three Seas Initiative.

The aim of this initiative is to connect the countries of Central Europe, from the Baltic to the shores of the Black Sea and the Adriatic. The initiative is backed by the United States, and Croatia, as a participant, has a number of projects, Plenković said, citing the LNG terminal on Krk island.

"This year Croatia has opened its LNG terminal at Krk, putting itself on the energy map not just of Europe but of the world as well. We believe that in this way Croatia has made a great contribution to cooperation in the energy sector as part of this initiative," the prime minister said.

The Three Seas Initiative was launched by Croatia and Poland at a meeting in Dubrovnik in the summer of 2016 to promote trade and infrastructure, energy and political cooperation in the region between the Adriatic, Baltic and Black Seas.

The LNG terminal at Krk is important to Croatia because it is connected to an existing terminal in Poland.

Plenković said that Croatia would use funds for projects that would benefit all countries participating in this initiative. 

The participating countries are: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.

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Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Croatia FM: Cirkovce-Pince Transmission Line will Help Develop Electricity Market

ZAGREB, Oct 14, 2020 - Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlic Radman said in Kidricevo, Slovenia on Wednesday that the construction of the Cirkovce-Pince transmission line would encourage the further development of the electricity market, thereby helping the EU's economic recovery.

Grlic Radman, Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa and Hungarian PM Viktor Orban attended the laying of the cornerstone for the transmission line which will connect the three countries' power systems.

"Strengthening infrastructure links in central Europe is beyond question, notably between Croatia, Hungary and Slovenia, three neighboring, friendly states," said Grlic Radman.

The Cirkovce-Pince project includes the construction of an 80-kilometer-long 400 kV transmission line and it should be completed in 2022.

The construction of this transmission line "will facilitate better integration of the electricity market, ensuring supply and access to those markets in this part of Europe and encouraging the further development of that market," said Grlic Radman.

Besides cooperation at the political level, he welcomed "the excellent cooperation at an economic level" between the relevant companies, including Croatia's Dalekovod. 

He said the energy sector would be highly important for the EU's economic development, adding that Croatia "will focus even more on energy efficiency, renewable energy sources, energy storage and the completion of key infrastructure projects."

One of those projects is an LNG terminal off Krk island which should be put in operation next year. Grlic Radman also underlined the Three Seas Initiative.

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Monday, 4 May 2020

MET Books Portion of Krk LNG Terminal Capacity for Three-Year Period

ZAGREB, May 4, 2020 - The MET Croatia Energy Trade company has submitted a binding offer to the LNG Hrvatska company to book capacities in the LNG terminal on the northern Adriatic island of Krk for a three-year period, amounting to 1.3 billion cubic meters overall, MET Croatia announced on Monday.

"Significant changes on the international energy markets are spearheaded by the rapid growth of global LNG trade, a development that MET Group welcomes. The Croatian LNG project will help Central and Eastern Europe to become an integral part of this global market. Furthermore, Croatian LNG imports will help MET Group link most of its downstream markets both from pipeline gas and from an LNG perspective as well," the company said in a press release.

Mario Matković, CEO of MET Croatia Energy Trade, said that that company was actively monitoring the global growth of demand for liquefied natural gas and increasing the volume of LNG delivered day by day.

"To succeed on the LNG market, apart from the specific knowledge with a global LNG desk, it is necessary to have a local presence, i.e. a market access for gas placement. We are the only player in the region that has both. Therefore, we have no doubt that booking the capacity in the LNG terminal in Krk will highly contribute to our long-term business strategy," Matković said.

MET Croatia, a member of MET Group, a European energy company headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, has been present in Croatia since 2013. The group employs 1,700 people in 15 countries, operates in 26 gas markets and is active in 22 international trading hubs. MET Group has been operating for 13 years and is the leading independent integrated energy company in the CEE region and other European markets including Spain and Italy, the statement said.

According to information available on the website of the LNG Hrvatska company, construction work on the floating LNG terminal is proceeding according to plan, and the terminal is due to start operating in early 2021. The terminal's technical capacity is 2.6 billion cubic metres annually.

The value of the investment project is estimated at €233.6 million. The European Commission has granted €101.4 million given that the project is listed among the Commission's projects of common interest.

More news about the LNG terminal can be found in the Business section.

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Croatia and Hungary to Analyse Potential Cooperation in Gas Markets

ZAGREB, June 19, 2019 - Croatian Energy and Environment Protection Minister Tomislav Ćorić and Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto on Wednesday agreed on setting up a working group tasked with analysing the potential cooperation on the gas markets of the two neighbouring countries.

After their talks in Zagreb on Wednesday morning, Ćorić said that they had discussed the possibilities of developing cooperation between the Croatian and Hungarian gas markets.

We have agreed on establishing a working group consisting of Croatian and Hungarian experts and in the coming months it will analyse potential pros and cons of such form of cooperation, Ćorić said.

The Hungarian minister confirmed that operators of the gas transport systems and national regulators would be included in this task.

This will be the closest cooperation between the Croatian and Hungarian gas markets so far, he added.

I would like underscore that we treat the diversification as a crucial issue. An LNG terminal is a realistic scenario and we believe that partnership can help us to be partners in this project and make it innovative from the view of the energy security of the region of Central Europe. Therefore we have agreed to continue our talks, Szijjarto said.

As for the gas supply diversification, he recalled that Hungary had already expressed readiness to negotiate a possibility for Budapest to have a 25-percent interest in the future company that would run and own the LNG terminal off the Croatian terminal of Krk.

Such cooperation could create a market situation whereby the purchase of the LNG gas at that terminal could be economically visible and competitive for us, the Hungarian minister said.

Ćorić said that he found this form of cooperation a positive step forward.

Such cooperation is expected to result in combination of stakes held by owners and the lease of capacities in the terminal. However, he admitted that there are differences in which steps to be taken in that regard.

More energy news can be found in the Business section.

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

US Secretary of Energy: LNG Terminal in Croatia Will Be Profitable

ZAGREB, June 5, 2019 - New gas sources in Southeast Europe, such as potential exploitation in the Romanian Black Sea, do not endanger the profitability of building an LNG terminal at Krk island, Croatia as the demand for this energy source will only grow, while its price will fall, US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry said in Ljubljana on Wednesday.

Croatia's Večernji List daily said recently the potential exploitation of gas in the Romanian part of the Black Sea, in which the US company ExxonMobil has the lead role, would make the already modest capacities of the LNG terminal in Croatia irrelevant for the broader region.

The paper also said that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, whose country has submitted a bid for a 25% stake in the Croatian LNG project, said upon returning from Washington that the US project in Romania had been the "first and most important topic" of his talks with President Donald Trump.

Critics of the construction of the LNG terminal in Croatia also note that the 20 or so such terminals already existing in Europe work at 25% capacity.

I think those arguments are not legitimate, said Perry, who arrived in Slovenia to attend a Three Seas Initiative summit. You will need much more gas than we will be able to deliver, he said, adding that the appetite for cleaner energy sources was increasing in Europe.

If Europe wants an economic transition, it will need more energy, Perry said, adding that Germany planned to abandon nuclear energy.

Either the lights will go out or they will use LNG. There is no third option, he said about Germany, adding that the US supported the construction of the Krk terminal. Not necessarily for the purchase of US gas, he said, but because more routes and suppliers are a good formula for Europe which cannot be free and sovereign if it depends only on Russian gas.

Russia currently sells gas at a lower price, but Perry said the price of US gas was constantly falling, that this would continue and that US natural gas reserves were massive.

He also said climate change could not be fought without nuclear energy free of harmful emissions. He announced a forum for next month between the European Commission and his department on Small modular reactors.

A panel discussion on energy on Wednesday afternoon marked the start of a business forum in Ljubljana, which is being held parallel to a summit of leaders of countries participating in the Three Seas Initiative, the largest international event held in Slovenia over the past decade with more than 600 participants from some 40 countries, including Croatia's President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović.

Opening the business forum, Slovenia's Prime Minister Marjan Šarec said that only better connectivity in Europe, not just north-south but east-west as well, can secure a better and more successful future for new generations. Investment and cohesion funds that would be used for better digital and energy connectivity of Central and East Europe would also benefit the Western part of the continent.

Croatia's delegation in the energy panel included Environment and Energy Minister Tomislav Ćorić and an executive at the national electricity provider HEP, Robert Krklec.

Ćorić said that within the framework of the Three Seas Initiative, Croatia is focused on diversifying sources and routes of energy procurement. He also spoke about plans for the construction of an LNG terminal on the island of Krk, which should be operational in 2021.

US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, who had met with Slovenia's President Borut Pahor and Prime Minister Šarec earlier in the day, attended the energy panel too.

There seemed to be some divergence of opinion between Perry, who said he was speaking on behalf of US President Donald Trump, and Miguel Berger from the German Economy Ministry concerning the Russian-German South Stream II gas pipeline and the EU's independence from Russia for energy supply.

Berger said that Germany supports the construction of an LNG terminal on Krk island, Croatia and that gas be imported from the USA as a means of diversifying supply routes, but that that has to be based on market principles. He also dismissed US claims that South Stream II jeopardises Europe's energy independence.

More LNG terminal news can be found in the Business section.


Saturday, 27 April 2019

Green MEPs Ask EC to Stop Supporting Croatia’s LNG Terminal Project

ZAGREB, April 27, 2019 - Zorislav Antun Petrović, leader of the nonparliamentary ORaH party, said on Saturday that nine members of the European Parliament from the Green group had asked of European Commission Vice-President Maros Šefčovič, in charge of Energy Union, that the EC immediately stop supporting the project to build an LNG terminal off the northern Croatian Adriatic island of Krk.

Petrović said that energy independence was in Croatia's interest and that it was achieved by investing in renewables rather than spending money to enable the import of foreign energy products in Croatia.

He said that energy transition was one of the key topics for the Green Left coalition (consisting of ORaH, the We Can! platform and the New Left party), which is running in the coming elections for the European Parliament.

Petrović said that in their letter to Šefčović, the nine Green members of the European Parliament said that not only was the LNG project in direct contravention of the EU's obligations assumed under the Paris Agreement but that they had noticed numerous irregularities in its implementation that so far had not affected the EC's support for the project.

Petrović said the Green MEPs cited in their letter a number of reasons why the project was unacceptable in its present form.

They asked the EC not to approve the assistance requested by the Croatian government for the project and not to renew the Projects of Common Interest (PCI) status for the LNG terminal on the fourth PCI list that is currently being worked on.

Petrović said the letter was signed by MEPs Thomas Waitz, Monika Vana (Austria), Max Andersson (Sweden), Reinhard Buetikofer, Sven Giegold (Germany), Philippe Lamberts (Belgium), Florent Marcellesi, Michele Rivasi (France) and Tilly Metz (Luxembourg).

More news about the LNG project can be found in the Business section.

Saturday, 13 April 2019

Hungary Offers to Buy 25% of LNG Terminal on Krk

ZAGREB, April 13, 2019 - The Hungarian government has made an offer to buy 25 percent of a LNG terminal that is to be built in Croatia, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told journalists in Dubrovnik on Friday, according to MTI news agency.

Szijjarto had talks with Croatia's Environment and Energy Minister Tomislav Ćorić on the sidelines of a China-Central and Eastern Europe summit and said it was crucial for Central Europe to diversify its gas supplies.

Szijjarto said it was in Hungary's strategic interest that the terminal should be built and that it should offer gas to Hungary at a competitive price. He added that the decision and the plans for the terminal have been in place, but "there has been no progress" in the physical implementation.

The Hungarian foreign minister said that Croatia had "not yet provided a clear answer" on the matter, as the country wants to take a decision on Hungary's offer at the same time as it contracts gas volume. Investing in the terminal is "a strategic issue" but "we will certainly not buy gas at a higher price than at present," he said, adding that the negotiations would continue.

Ćorić confirmed on Monday that he had received a letter of intent from Hungary to purchase a 25 percent stake in the future LNG terminal, adding that the interest in entering the ownership structure should be accompanied by an interest in the lease of gas from the LNG facility on the northern Adriatic island of Krk.

"A few weeks ago, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto sent a letter of intent on behalf of the Hungarian government. Hungary is interested in buying 25% plus one share in the LNG terminal," Ćorić said then in response to questions from the press.

He said that talks with Hungary would continue at the summit of 16 Central and Eastern European countries and China in Dubrovnik. He noted that Hungary's demand for gas was considerably higher than Croatia's, given that Hungary's annual natural gas consumption ranges between nine and ten billion cubic metres, compared with Croatia's consumption of 2.7 billion cubic metres.

The value of the floating LNG terminal on Krk island is estimated at 234 million euro. The European Commission has approved a 101.4 million euro grant for the project, which is included on the Commission's list of projects of common interest.

The Croatian government has decided to set aside 100 million euro for the project, 50 million in 2019 and as much in 2020. The remaining 32.6 million euro will be provided by the founders of the LNG Croatia company - the HEP national electricity provider and the Plinacro gas network operator.

Ćorić reiterated that the construction of the LNG terminal was a strategic project for Croatia.

More news about the LNG terminal on Krk can be found in the Business section.

Monday, 8 April 2019

ORaH and EGP Demand Transparent Construction of LNG Terminal on Krk

ZAGREB, April 8, 2019 - The Sustainable Development of Croatia (ORaH) party and the European Green Party (EGP) said on Monday they would insist on full transparency of the financing and construction of an LNG terminal on Krk island so that it does not jeopardise Croatian citizens' standard of living as well as the health and livelihood of the people of the Kvarner coastal region, notably the people of Krk.

The two parties held a press conference after Thomas Waitz, a member of the European Parliament and of the EGP executive committee, visited the northern Adriatic island to establish the facts concerning the construction of an LNG terminal in Omišalj.

He said that because private investors had pulled out of the project, the 107 million euro from European cohesion and development funds which should have covered 27% of the investment now covered 45%.

All private investors have withdrawn from the project, so it's legitimate to ask if the project is cost-effective at all, Weitz added.

It is unusual that the environmental impact study used for the project was made for the land and not the floating terminal and that the permits issued for the land terminal were simply expanded to the floating one, although they are essentially different projects, he said.

He said no EU funds had been granted yet and that he would ask the European Commission to review the allocation and warn it that the project was different than the one agreed for financing.

ORaH president Zorislav Antun Petrović said his party would follow the developments in cooperation with the EGP.

More news on the LNG terminal can be found in the Business section.

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Lawsuit Against Permit for Floating LNG Terminal on Krk Rejected

ZAGREB, April 4, 2019 - Omišalj Mayor Mirela Ahmetović on Wednesday commented on the latest ruling by the Administrative Court rejecting the municipality's lawsuit questioning the changes made to the development permit for a floating LNG terminal on Krk, saying that the municipality would appeal and that it and its residents would turn to European judicial bodies and institutions.

Ahmetović told a press conference that the court had rejected the municipality's lawsuit against the Ministry of Construction and Physical Planning questioning the legality of the development permit issued for the floating LNG terminal.

Ahmetović said that the municipality would appeal the court's decision and added that considering the developments to date concerning the terminal, she did not expect the court would have decided differently.

"We have initiated communication with the European Commission and European Parliament and are preparing to take the matter to European judicial institutions," she said and added that the government had not once turned to the local community and the prime minister and president "have not set foot in Omišalj municipality where the so-called strategic project is to be implemented."

Ahmetović claimed that the state wants to "install something (in Omišalj) that wasn't considered even in the craziest scenario" by the municipality or county. She added that it never happened that the EU financed a project that an entire local community objected to, as is the case with the local community on Krk island.

Ahemtović said that county and municipal physical plans exist. There is also a development strategy that mentions an LNG terminal, and the development strategy refers to an onshore terminal and not offshore.

County Prefect Zlatko Komadina said that the local community was not opposed to an LNG terminal but wanted it to be built on shore.

"It is absurd that instead of an onshore terminal, as provided for under the physical plan, we are facing aggression with a floating terminal that no one here wants," Komadina concluded, appealing to state authorities to work on the project in agreement with the regional and local community.

More news about the LNG terminal can be found in the Business section.

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