Friday, 20 January 2023

Norwegian Company Statkraft Reveals Scale of Croatian Energy Bill Worries

January the 20th, 2023 - The Norwegian company Statkraft has shed light on the scale of Croatian energy bill worries, among other things, in its research. Statkraft is otherwise Europe's largest producer of renewable energy.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the aforementioned Norwegian company conducted a survey among more than 18,000 respondents across nine countries, including the Republic of Croatia, about what consumers think about climate change and the current soaring energy prices.

Overall, at the level of all the countries included in the research, three quarters of respondents are concerned about the negative consequences of climate change and see one of the solutions lying precisely with renewable energy sources. More than two-thirds (69%) believe that the development of renewable energy sources should be a priority given the problems with climate change and energy supplies. Almost a quarter of those surveyed (23%) said that their perception of renewable energy sources has become more positive over the last six months, while the overall rate of acceptance of wind power plants and solar power plants is now at the level of 80 and 87 percent, respectively.

Croatian energy bill worries are the highest, just like they are for the Irish

Of all the countries surveyed, concern about the potentially higher cost of electricity was highest in Ireland (86%) and Croatia (81%). When asked about electricity prices, 81% of people surveyed here in Croatia are concerned about the possible costs of their electricity bills; 62% of the respondents think that they may not be able to cover the expected increase in energy prices with their savings, while as many as 85% think that more and more serious investments in renewable energy sources across Croatia should have been made a very long time ago.

Despite this pressure of rising energy prices that people feel, 50% of respondents in Croatia say that due to other challenges they're dealing with in life, they don't have time to look for more favourable options for supplying electricity.

Respondents in Croatia also showed the greatest concern among all countries regarding the security of an energy supply – 77% of respondents stated that they were concerned about the issue of security of energy supplies. At the same time, 56% of the respondents from Croatia - again the highest percentage among all the surveyed countries - say that they were primarily motivated by the war in Ukraine to take such a view and attitude; 79% of citizens claim that they began to consider the topic of energy in a more significant way only because of this war.

Croatia also leads the way in terms of awareness of sources of electricity – the vast majority of respondents (87%) claim that they know where their energy comes from; this is again the highest percentage in this survey across all of the involved countries.

Arnaud Bellanger, Statkraft's manager for the Republic of Croatia, commented on the survey results in Croatia with the following words: "These survey results show clear public support for the development of clean energy, with people wanting Croatia to act quickly on this. By increasing the production capacity of renewable energy and reducing dependence on fossil fuels, Croatian consumers can be additionally protected from changes on an unstable market which is facing rising costs.''

Croatian residents are aware of the issue of climate change, but mostly they don't know about the initiatives that are trying to solve this pressing problem

Croatian residents are well aware of the issue of climate change, and 75% of respondents in this survey said they were worried about the direct consequences of climate change on them and their families. They're mostly worried about floods, fires, heat waves and a rise in sea levels (48%), the impact on human health (42%), the negative impact on food prices (40%), the impact on human and animal habitats (39%) and the inability to plan for the future because of these dire uncertainties (23%).

However, in this survey, as many as 93% of Croats said that they weren't aware of any specific goals and activities that the country is undertaking to become carbon neutral. Respondents are divided about who should primarily solve the problem: 36% of people say that they don't feel any pressure or incentive to face the problem themselves, while 31% are very aware of it and feel a need to act.

Public support for significant expansion of renewable energy sources

Croatian residents believe that the government should primarily encourage solving the problem of climate change through more policies and incentives to reduce carbon emissions, including incentives for electric vehicles (56% of respondents), the faster introduction of clean energy for personal and business use (46%), the better education of people about how they can reduce their carbon footprint on their own (49%), more incentives for the use of clean energy in companies and industry (59%) and an easier process for planning initiatives that work to fight climate change (42%).

Faced with rising energy prices due to the war in Ukraine and the climate crisis, respondents in Croatia overwhelmingly (75%) said that significant expansion of production capacity in the area of renewable energy sources must become a priority throughout Europe. One third of Croatian respondents - 34% of those surveyed - say that they view renewable energy sources, stimulated by these crises during the past months, much more favourably than they did before.

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Thursday, 3 November 2022

Croatian Dalekovod to Engage in Big Job For Norwegian Client

November the 3rd, 2022 - The Croatian Dalekovod company is set to engage in a new job for a large Norwegian client - Statnett, which chose Dalekovod's offer during a tender as the best.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Suzana Varosanec writes, the latest job that Dalekovod has got its hands on, with the proviso that the contract will be concluded after the final confirmation, concerns the construction of a new 420 kV transmission line over in Norway, more specifically on the Aurland - Sogndal section, spanning a total length of 41 kilometres.

After an evaluation process in accordance with the tender criteria, the Norwegian client Statnett chose the Croatian Dalekovod company's offer, and the intention to conclude a contract was quickly expressed. At this moment in time, the appeal period is still running, and if there are no surprises or bumps in the road, Dalekovod's Management can peacefully wait for the conclusion of this important contract on the execution of works for this well-known partner.

They are just finishing the construction project of a new 420 kV transmission line between the substations Skillemoen and Skaidi for the aforementioned Norwegian client, which spans a total length of 89 kilometres and is specific given its geographical position in the far north of Norway. Because of that, it was built in arctic weather conditions.

Approximately 70 to 80 percent of the Croatian Dalekovod company's business revenues are generated on foreign markets. About 80% of that is realised in Scandinavia, which means that on an annual level, 50% of Dalekovod's income is generated by jobs carried out over o the Scandinavian market.

Scandinavia is therefore an important stronghold for this Croatian company, and there is still a significant investment cycle on which Dalekovod is building its plans, although apparently at a reduced intensity. The electricity transmission company Statnett is otherwise the Norwegian counterpart of Croatia's very own HEP.

The Croatian Dalekovod company's cooperation with Statnett started way back in 2007 and then continued with a series of projects in which Norway, due to its geographical shape and terrain configuration, has been successfully connecting the north and the south with a new distribution network for the past fifteen years.

As many as 350 Dalekovod employees have worked there on certain projects, sometimes under extremely demanding conditions. Similarly, only in later dynamics, cooperation was achieved on energy projects in nearby Sweden. Dalekovod's latest contracts concern two Swedish investors, Elevio AB, the owner of the distribution network, and Svenska Kraftnät, the national energy company. The management is also still trying to position the company on the demanding German market, and Dalekovod established a branch in Germany again this year. It is estimated that by 2030, the largest investments in energy will take place there.

Business recovery

The recorded 36% drop in the Group's revenues in the first nine months of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021 (when revenues amounted to 705.7 million kuna) was mostly influenced by the stoppage of work on two projects in Ukraine for obvious reasons, and less activity in Scandinavian countries.

Business recovery was noticeable in the third quarter of 2022, in which 264 million kuna of revenue was realised with a net profit of 3.6 million kuna. Dalekovod's management expects these positive trends to continue.

For more, make sure to keep up with our dedicated business section.

Tuesday, 31 May 2022

Norwegian King’s Guard to Visit Croatia

ZAGREB, 31 May 2022 - His Majesty The King's Guard (Hans Majestet Kongens Garde, or HMKG)  is arriving in Croatia for the first time to visit Zagreb and Split where it will conduct exercises and a march, the Norwegian Embassy said on Tuesday.

During the tour of Croatia, the guard's 130-member orchestra and soldiers will perform ceremonial routines, including concerts and drill exercises, the embassy said.

Their first performance will be on Friday, 3 June, on Split's Riva promenade.

They will conduct two performances in Zagreb on 4 June, first in the downtown Ban Jelačić Square together with the Croatian Army and then a march around the inner city centre.

In the evening they will conduct a march in Maksimir Park and conduct another performance.

All the performances are free of charge.

This event is the result of continued and successful cooperation between the Croatian and Norwegian armies within the NATO alliance.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 6 April 2022

Norwegian Instructors Training Croatian Firefighters in Rescuing Car Crash Victims

ZAGREB, 6 April 2022 - Norwegian instructors are training Croatian firefighters in the southern coastal town of Kaštel Sućurac in techniques for extracting people from vehicles involved in traffic accidents, the Croatian Fire Service said on Wednesday.

The training is taking place as part of an international project aimed at increasing firefighters' preparedness and raising awareness of road safety. The theoretical part of the training began on Monday.

Fire chief Slavko Tucaković expressed his satisfaction with the training course and the exchange of experience and knowledge.

Instructor Fredrik Høe said that they were showing the Croatian firefighters the methods they used in Norway in removing casualties from vehicles after a crash, using chains. He noted that the number of road accidents in Croatia was as much as four times higher than in Norway. 

The training is being conducted in cooperation with the International Association of Fire and Rescue Services (CTIF).

For more, check out our lifestyle section

Friday, 11 March 2022

Norway Helping Zagreb Faculty in Earthquake Research Project

ZAGREB, 11 March (2022) - A €2.1 million contract was signed on Friday for a project that will enable Zagreb Faculty of Science (PMF) researchers to conduct geophysical and seismological research in Croatia's earthquake areas and develop an earthquake prediction programme.

The agreement was signed by Regional Development and EU Funds Minister Nataša Tramišak and PMF dean Mirko Planinić.

The project will be financed as part of a local development and poverty reduction programme in Norway's 2014-21 financial mechanism in the amount of €1.8 million, while €317,600 will come from Croatia's national funds.

The project will be carried out by PMF in partnership with Norway's Bergen University. It will upgrade the earthquake risk estimate system in Croatia and contribute to enhancing disaster readiness plans and mitigating the danger of earthquakes.

For more, check out our politics section.

Monday, 21 June 2021

Energy Institute Hrvoje Požar (EIHP) to be First Nearly Zero Energy Building in Croatia

June 21, 2021 - An exciting new step for Croatian energy efficiency is happening at the Energy Institute Hrvoje Požar (EIHP), as the Institute makes significant changes to its building which will also help to educate other experts for energy efficiency.

As the Energy Institute Hrvoje Požar (EIHP) gave great support and input in REPLACE Project that brings energy efficiency to Rijeka and Kvarner region, just put a new log in Croatian energetic efficiency. The start of June saw the contract for granting non-returnable funds for founding nZEB- the National Training Center on Nearly Zero Energy Buildings, EIHP reported on its website. The project is financed from the „Energy and Climate Change“ Fund, part of the Financial Mechanisms 2014 – 2021 in Croatia, courtesy of the European Economic Area (EEA).

1,600,000 Euros is the total value of this project on which EIHP collaborates with the Faculty of Civil Engineering, University of Zagreb. The goal is to empower all the actors in reconstructing buildings to meet the nZEB standard.

With the center being established in the building of the Požar Institute undergoing reconstruction at the moment, it will be a vivid example of the modern technologies that are implemented in nZEB design.

„We will show and share with the widest professional community the solutions that will be developed through this project. The whole process of reconstruction will be followed and documented, and detailed, and serve as an example in the training program as the Institute becomes the first public building in Croatia reconstructed in such a manner. With the appliance of green energy technologies (electrification of heating and cooling systems with a crane that uses shallow geothermal source, integrated photo charged electric plant on the roof, energy containers, efficient lighting), we also wish to include E-mobility, which is certainly the future of traffic as well as accomplish complete digitalization of all technical systems the building is using. That way, the building will be the showcase example of the double transition – green and digital“; said the EIHP headmaster, Dražen Jakšić.

Jakšić attended the signing of the contract, along with the regional development Minister Nataša Tramišak, Norwegian Ambassador Haakon Blankenburg (as Norway also supports the Financial Mechanisms 2014 – 2021), Ministry secretary of economy and sustainable growth dr. Mario šiljeg, and the Faculty of Civil Engineering dean dr. Stjepan Lakušić.

„After this pandemic, we will not develop by repeating the things from before. A historical change is afoot, and we will meet it with green development and with new 'Green Deal'“, concluded Jakšić while Minister Tramišak also pointed out that securing financial mechanisms for advanced technologies and energy renewal.

Learn more about Croatian inventions & discoveries: from Tesla to Rimac on our TC page.

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Friday, 19 February 2021

Adriatic Maritime Transport: Norwegian Electric Ferries Presented in Rijeka

February the 19th, 2021 - Norwegian electric ferries have been presented in the Northern Adriatic city of Rijeka as an idea for Adriatic maritime transport along the Croatian coastline.

As Morski/Marinko Glavan writes, Edmund Tolo from the company Fjellstrand AS, which produces the ferries, considers electric ferries a good solution for the Croatian coast and Adriatic maritime transport, especially on high-frequency shorter lines, such as those in the more northern part of the Adriatic.

''Up in Norway, especially in the fjords, we have a lot of tourists in the summer, to whom, like Croatia, we sell clean nature and clean air. But by transporting these tourists by ships and ferries, we destroyed that very same clean air and pure nature they come for. To prevent this, the idea of ​​fully electric ferries was created, of which there are already forty in use in the Norwegian fjords today, and in the next few years that number will grow significantly,'' said Edmund Tolo, an engineer from the Norwegian shipbuilding company Fjellstrand AS, known for their off-shore and other work boats, as well as fast passenger catamarans, Novi list writes.

Tolo held a presentation of electric ferries in Rijeka as a solution for Croatian ferry lines and Adriatic maritime transport, as part of the AdRia4Blue event organised by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) - the Rijeka County Chamber, in cooperation with the Kingdom of Norway.

According to Tolo, Norway's experience in using electric ferries has proven to be very good indeed, especially when running on shorter lines, of which there are many in Croatia, and as such Tolo is convinced that electric ferries will sail along the Croatian coast providing Adriatic maritime transport in the future.

''We started the development of a fully electric ferry due to the need to protect the environment in the sensitive ecosystem of the Norwegian fjords. We have more than 130 ferry lines, we've analysed them all and initially determined 50 of them that we considered suitable for electric ferries. When designing the first electric ferry, we had to practically start from scratch, because there were no such similar vessels. The biggest problem was the batteries, their capacity and their lifespan.

The point is that if you use batteries, such as those suitable for installation on a ship, in such a way that they are completely discharged and then charged, they have a very limited shelf life, of only a few hundred cycles. If you use 50 percent of the battery capacity, their service life is one year, but then we wondered how long they'd last if we use only ten to fifteen percent of the capacity on each trip. In that case, the battery life is extended to ten years, which is economically acceptable,'' explained Tolo.

Fjellstrand's engineers have also faced a number of other challenges, such as how to reduce the weight of the ship, and especially how to reduce the total energy consumption of all of the ship systems to a minimum.

''We have extensive experience in the construction of aluminum ships, so we chose this material because of its low weight, as well as its environmental friendliness, since aluminum can be fully recycled virtually infinitely many, many times. On classic diesel-powered ships, energy isn't a problem, there is too much of it, so not so much attention is paid to its consumption in various marine systems. With an electric boat, however, we had to adjust all the systems, and optimise their operation in order to make them consume as little electricity as possible.

From the pumps, through to the lighting all done with LED technology, to the ventilation, heating and cooling systems, we've reduced consumption wherever possible. And so the Ampere was born, the world's first ferry powered solely by battery electricity. It's a ship with some serious dimensions and capabilities, eighty metres long, which accommodates 120 cars and 350 passengers. Its speed is ten knots, and its maximum speed is fourteen knots. It was launched back in 2014 and has since sailed on the Lavik Oppedal line, with an average of 34 trips a day,'' Tolo noted.

''A large part of electricity in Croatia is produced from hydroelectric power plants, which means that it is produced without emissions of harmful gases, and in an environmentally friendly way. By using electric ferries, the emission of harmful gases is also zero, and noise pollution is reduced, as well as the risk of oil or fuel spills into the sea. In the immediate vicinity of Rijeka you have lines such as Stinica - Misnjak, 3.3 kilometres long, Prizna - Zigljen, three kilometres long or Valbiska - Merag, 6.7 kilometres long, all of which are ideal for using electric ferries on. As technology has advanced and ships of increasing capacity are developing, lines such as Split - Supetar, a little more than 16 kilometres long, are already being considered for the introduction of electric propulsion ships,'' noted Tolo.

The advantage of electric ferries, he points out, lies in the consumption, which in Norway, financially speaking and given the ratio of electricity and diesel, in electric ships is about 15 to 20 percent lower than conventional ships of the same capacity.

''Economically, these ferries are profitable, and that's not to mention the environmental benefits. Their purchase price is about ten percent higher than a comparable diesel-powered boat. So electric ferries certainly have a future, especially in tourist countries like Norway or Croatia, where it's very important to preserve the clean nature for which tourists come,'' said Tolo.

In the meantime, electric propulsion is being developed on other types of ships, and Fjellstrand has been working on a fully electric high-speed catamaran for years now. A prototype, 27 metres long, has already been developed, which can transport 147 passengers, at a speed of as much as 23 knots, with a capacity of about two and a half hours of sailing, Novi list writes.

When asked whether the Croatian side has expressed interest in the procurement, but also the possible construction of electric ferries to the Adriatic, he answered:

''We haven't had official contacts yet, but I believe that this will happen in the future, because it is an environmentally friendly technology,'' concluded Tolo.

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Tuesday, 10 November 2020

Gluten-Free Croatian Cod Product Makes it to British Market

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marta Duic writes on the 9th of November, 2020, in Bacva near Visnjan, the Stefanov family have been producing what has become a famous specialty - white cod, but also various other delicacies produced out of this particular fish. This Croatian cod product has also managed to attract interest from a very rich Western European market - that of Great Britain.

The Baccalà della Mamma brand is based on the owner’s mother’s family recipe from the 1980s, and today they have four types of products - Pikantino, Oliveto and Tartufino, which they sell fresh in jars or in bulk intended for the HoReCa channel. Their new products are creams in tubes with a shelf life of one year.

Direct procurement from Norway

"We started production back in 1986, when we prepared cod as a specialty of the house in Konoba Milena, which was initially in demand before the festive season rolled around, and later on people increasingly ordered it for their own homes. We started the first official production ten years later in a business space which covered 80 square metres behind the tavern itself, and I took over the business back in 2005, six years later, I opened a new plant according to European standards in a space covering 400 square metres,'' says the owner, Aleksandar Stefanov.

While these are Croatian cod products, having been finished here, the products are actually made from rich Norwegian cod and sunflower oil without the addition of gluten and glucose. They annually produce about 100,000 kilograms of cod. The fish is procured from the Sverdrup family from Reine in Norway, with whom they came into contact through their Italian partners, continuing their direct cooperation when they opened the new facility back in 2011.

Market expansion

Today, these Croatian cod products of Norwegian origin are also present in leading retail chains, as well as in Kvarner and Istrian stores and various delicatessen stores.

''We cooperate with all hotel houses in Istria - Valamar, Maistra, Plava Laguna, Aminess and with restaurants from Savudrija, Pula and Rijeka to Zagreb. About 30 percent of production is exported to Austria, Italy, Slovenia, and one shipment has just gone to the United Kingdom. We're planning to expand further on the Italian market, although we're already present there, as well as that of Serbia,'' concluded Stefanov.

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Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Croatia's Tomislav Debeljak Takes Over Shipyard in Norway

Tomislav Debeljak of DIV group has his eye on a struggling shipyard in Norway, and the two parties have come to an arrangement that is sure to suit both.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Brnic writes on the 20th of January, 2020, in the announcement, the two companies state that the acquisition contract should be finalised in the next few weeks, and they expect good synergies in both financial and production terms.

A DIV group owned by Brodosplit has entered into an agreement to take over the Norwegian shipyard Kleven Verft. It is a shipyard that has been experiencing numerous difficulties in recent years and was taken over by the Norwegian shipping company Hurtingen to complete the construction of the previously ordered ships.

As previously stated, in the joint announcement, both companies have stated that the acquisition contract should be finalised in the next few weeks, and that they expect good synergies in both financial and production terms.

''We are very pleased to have signed this agreement, which provides an opportunity to connect the two shipyards with a long tradition. Kleven is recognised throughout the world as a Norwegian shipyard with top references, especially when it comes to the fitting out of complex ships,'' says DIV owner Tomislav Debeljak.

''I am incredibly happy on behalf of all of Kleven's employees to have a new and solid shipyard owner. We went through a difficult period and were able to deliver some fantastic ships while maintaining a high level of expertise in our shipyard. Together with the new owner, we have long-term plans. This will be a new and exciting period for all of Kleven's employees,'' stated CEO Kjetil Bollestad.

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