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.

Thursday, 31 March 2022

Ćorić Gave 30-Year Concession for Hydroelectric Power Plant in Croatia to Security Company

March 31, 2022 - Telegram revealed that the Ministry of Economy awarded a security company with a hydroelectric power plant in Croatia. Ćorić gave 30-year concession to the 007 Miletić company through a tender that was announced on the eve of last Christmas and was not published on the Ministry's website.

Some entrepreneurs claim that they were ready to give twice the amount, but they simply did not see the tender. Despite everything, Minister Ćorić signed the decision to award the hydroelectric power plant to the company 007 Miletić for 30 years, reports

The Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Tomislav Ćorić, awarded a concession for the use of the hydroelectric power plant on the Jadro river in Solin to the local security company 007 Miletić, which was registered for the production and distribution of electricity three months ago.

This is the end of the tender for the award of a 30-year concession for this small hydropower plant, which has a capacity of up to 5 megawatts and which, according to Ćorić's decision, was awarded to a company that has not been involved in the energy business. The competition was out of the public spotlight because it was announced on Christmas Eve and only in one place, which is why there are now complaints about its regularity.

What has 007 Miletić been doing so far?

The company 007 Miletić, chosen by Ćorić, has been known in the security sector for years, and in 2014 it received a 30-year concession for filling water in Vrlika. The founder of the company is Nediljko Miletić, while his wife Zdravka, also appears as a procurator.

The Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development has not wanted to answer Telegram for 11 days why Mr. Miletić and his company were chosen. While the tender was still in progress, they explained to Telegram that it was "based on the Law on Concessions and the Decree on the Conditions for Granting Concessions for the Economic Use of Water".

The competition was announced last year on Christmas Eve

It was also noticed the fact that the tender for this concession was published on December 24 last year, on Christmas Eve, and only on the pages of the Electronic Public Procurement Notice (EOJN). Numerous announcements about concessions can be seen on the official website of the Ministry, which is the grantor of the concession, but this tender, mysteriously, has not been published.

It was not in other media either, which is now being questioned by companies complaining about the tender. Quite precisely, the Law stipulates that such a tender is published in the EOJN, and it can also be published "on the website of the concession grantor as well as in other media." The Decree on the Conditions for Granting Concessions for the Economic Use of Water stipulates that “a public invitation shall be published in the Electronic Public Procurement Notice of the Republic of Croatia, and the day after on the website of the concession grantor”.

Appeals against the decision of Minister Ćorić

The Ministry of the Economy and Sustainable Development told Telegram that they respected the Law on Concessions when publishing, and the Decree on the Conditions for Granting Concessions for the Economic Use of Water when compiling tenders.

However, two complaints that have now reached the State Commission for the Control of Public Procurement Procedures point to a number of omissions. Among them is the controversial announcement of the tender only in the EOJN. One should not lose sight of the fact that this is a concession for as long as 30 years.

By the way, as a one-time fee for the concession, the Ministry asked for HRK 228,608, and another percent per year of the realized average price of electricity produced in each year of use. The Ministry determined HRK 14,288 in the tender as the minimum amount. Complaints about the selection of 007 Miletić point out that these concession fees are too low given the price of electricity, and that some bidders were willing to pay twice the amount. But they just didn’t see the competition. Despite everything, Minister Ćorić is signing a decision on the selection of a security guard company from Solin which has only recently re-registered for the production and sale of electricity.

Miletic's wife also competed

Telegram found out that in addition to Miletić, the companies Primula company, owned by his wife Zdravka Miletić, and the company Starac doo from Kaštela also applied for the tender. Primula company also registered for energy production and trade only in January this year, while Starac doo is not even registered.

How seriously Ms. Miletić entered the fight for the concession on the river Jadro is evidenced by the fact that despite the estimated value of HRK 228,608, she was willing to pay only HRK 56,200. The company Starac offered 300 thousand kunas, and 007 Miletić 265,200 kunas. As the commission of the Ministry determined that the offer of the company Starac was not correct, since the documentation was not properly numbered or bound, Miletić remained the only one who met the conditions.

However, the company Starac states in the complaint that the Ministry did not ask them at all to supplement or clarify their bid, nor to clarify it within at least five days, as prescribed by the Public Procurement Act. They consider the Ministry's explanation that their offer was not properly bound to be insufficient.

For more, check out our politics section.

Wednesday, 23 March 2022

Up to €480 a Month to be Granted for Accommodation of Ukrainian Refugees

ZAGREB, 23 March 2022 - Croatia's government adopted a decision on Wednesday to cover the cost of accommodation for displaced persons from Ukraine, where the government will pay up to HRK 3,600 (€480) a month to property owners providing accommodation for refugees.

During a cabinet meeting, the government decided that the costs would be reimbursed pursuant to a rental contract with the Interior Ministry (Civil Protection Administration) for a period of six months, with the possibility of extending contracts up to one year.

Providers of accommodation will be paid monthly to cover the cost of accommodation and utility bills.

Expenses will be paid in the amount of HRK 50 a day for single persons, families with more members will receive HRK 40 a day for the first person, HRK 30 for a second member, HRK 20 for a third member and HRK 10 a day for each member after that.

Housing units have to have to be of a minimum of 30 square metres for one person and an additional 5m2 for each family member after that.

The premises must include a kitchen and bathroom with a lavatory. It must also be furnished and have the necessary appliances and utility infrastructure.

"The money for this will be ensured from the state budget from the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development", Interior Minister Davor Božinović explained.

The government has authorised the Interior Ministry, Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, Ministry of Labour, Pension System, Family, and Social Policy and the Civil Protection Administration to implement this decision.

The Interior Ministry will advertise a call on its website, appealing for available premises to be offered to accommodate displaced persons from Ukraine.

For more, check out our dedicated politics section.

Tuesday, 7 December 2021

Parliament: Companies To Be Granted HRK 400m for Energy Renovation

ZAGREB, 7 Dec, 2021 - The state secretary at the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, Ivo Milatić, said on Tuesday that in addition to HRK 390 million set aside for the energy renovation of family housing, as much money would also be allocated to companies for the same purpose.

HRK 400 million will be allocated from the national recovery and resilience plan to companies which failed to get funding in the tender process because there wasn't enough money, Milatić said in response to the question from MP Tomislav Okroša of the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) during debate on the final text of the renewable energy bill.

Okroša said that 8,850 applications had been received as part of the call for the energy renovation of housing and the construction of systems for the use of renewable energy sources, while only HRK 390 million was available. He wondered if this call would be issued again and whether this amount would suffice.

Milatić expressed hope that the amount would suffice, "and if not, calls will continue from the new financial perspective and the Environmental Protection Fund," and that all this investment would result in the installation of "a serious amount of solar panels" by the end of 2022.

He dismissed the claim by Zvane Brumnić (Social Democrats group) that the bill had been changed between the two readings indicating that investors would turn an enormous profit at the expense of citizens.

"I don't know where you found this. I categorically deny that private companies will make an enormous profit, that's out of the question," Milatić said.

He said that the bill promoted the use of renewable energy sources and aimed to increase the share of renewable energy in the heating and cooling sector by 1.1 percentage points as the annual average calculated for the period until 2025.

This bill seeks to ensure that there is at least 36.6 per cent of renewable energy in final energy consumption by 2030, the state secretary said.

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Sunday, 12 September 2021

Textile and Footwear Waste Recovery Facilities Not Utilised Enough

ZAGREB, 12 Sept, 2021 - Forty-one percent of waste in Croatia is sorted and every Croat annually generates 414 kilograms of waste, which is then used by companies to manufacture new products, Večernji List newspaper said in its Sunday edition.

The largest amounts of textile and footwear waste are not separated and end up in mixed municipal waste or bulky waste, the newspaper quoted the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development as saying.

The ministry noted that textile and footwear waste recovery facilities are not utilised enough, and that all wastes should be collected separately on the sites where they are produced, for example by using containers or a door-to-door waste collection system. It added that waste re-use centres are also a solution, such as the one operating in the northern town of Prelog, and stressed the importance of awareness raising, encouraging product repairs, buying more durable products and separating unwanted products for re-use.

The national waste management plan for 2017-2022 aims, among other things, to reduce the total amount of generated municipal waste by 5% and ensure separate collection of 60% of municipal waste, 40% of biowaste and 75% of construction waste.

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Tuesday, 31 August 2021

320 Projects Awarded Funding for Investments in Digital and Green Transition

ZAGREB, 31 Aug, 2021 - A total of 842 project applications have been submitted to the public call "Strengthening the competitiveness of companies by investing in the digital and green transition", worth HRK 1.14 billion, and about 320 of them will receive funding, launching an investment cycle worth over HRK 3.6 billion.

At a press conference at the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, Minister Tomislav Ćorić recalled that the public call was open from 30 April to 31 May this year.

The call is intended for small and medium-sized enterprises in the manufacturing and processing industries, with the aim of strengthening their production capacities, and Ćorić pointed out that the source of funding was the REACT-EU instrument (Recovery Assistance for Cohesion and the Territories of Europe).

A number of project applications are from Sisak-Moslavina County, and according to preliminary data, 12 such project applications are worth over HRK 37 million.

The president of the HAMAG-BICRO agency, Vjeran Vrbanec, said that the total value of funding requested by entrepreneurs amounted to HRK 2.5 billion.

Ćorić: Similar calls to be published in coming period

Ćorić said that similar calls would be published in the coming period.

Such calls with a digital or green component will open up a large and necessary space for further strengthening the capacity and competitiveness of the domestic manufacturing and processing industries, he said.

He stressed that the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NPOO) implied continuous monitoring of new projects and support for new investments by Croatian entrepreneurs.

Direct grants from the NPOO to companies for transition to an energy and resource efficient economy will amount to HRK 1.9 billion in the coming period. In addition to that, HRK 960 million will be directed at innovation and digitisation, and HRK 1.1 billion at encouraging investments that are a prerequisite for a circular economy.

Also, financial instruments in the amount of HRK 2.3 billion aimed at investments and strengthening competitiveness will be available through HAMAG-BICRO and the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR).

"So, this is what can be expected in 2022 and 2023," the minister announced.

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Tuesday, 31 August 2021

Greens Raise Voice Against Planned Waste Incinerator in Sisak

ZAGREB, 31 Aug, 2021 - The Green Action and the "Sisak isn't a waste disposal site" civil initiative have called on the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development to discard the plan to build a waste and residual sludge incinerator in Sisak, which is a seismologically active area.

The NGOs said that citizens had stood in defence of public interest in Zagreb and Konjščina when they stopped the construction of a waste incinerator there and that they will do the same for Sisak.

They are disgruntled because an environmental impact study justifying the construction of the incinerator in Sisak was put up for public debate from 2 to 31 August, a period of summer holidays.

They warned that waste from all over Croatia would be brought to the incinerator in Sisak that will have a capacity of 100,000 tonnes of waste and 50,000 tonnes of residual sludge, and it could have unforeseeable economic, ecological and health hazards.

They further pointed out that Croatia was turning to outdated solutions while the EU's Green Deal stimulates refraining from incinerators and encourages the use of sustainable solutions to use waste as a secondary crude material for industrial production.

Incineration would pose a potential threat to the environment and health of Sisak's residents because the environmental impact study ignored the fact that fires have erupted at waste incinerators throughout the EU as have excessive levels of hazardous gas emissions.

"The incinerator must not be an alternative for waste as a consequence of the failed attempt with waste management centres. It is necessary to change the way combined waste is managed and follow the principles of circular economy that treats waste as a resource and not as rubbish transformed into toxic waste," the NGOs said.

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