Friday, 6 May 2022

Žito Group, E.ON Sign Contract for Construction of Solar Power Plant

ZAGREB, 6 May (2022) - Žito Group and E.ON Solar, a company that is part of the E.ON Croatia Group, have signed a contract for the construction of a solar power plant on the premises of the vegetable oil factory in Čepin, which is expected to help save 2.6 gigawatt hours of energy a year and should be put into operation in June.

The new solar power plant will be the eight solar power plant Žito Group operates as part of its energy and environmental strategy.

The seven previously built plants have a total capacity of 2.3 megawatts. The new plant will have a capacity of 2 megawatts and will be the biggest of the eight plants.

Žito Group accounts for 0.3% of the annual electricity consumption in Croatia.

Using organic waste from the group's farms, Žito Group's four biogas units produce 43 gigawatts of electricity a year, which exceeds the group's total consumption. The group expects its energy production to become twice as high as its consumption by the end of 2025, its officials have said, noting that this makes Žito Group one of the most environmentally responsible businesses in Croatia.

Žito Group is a leading agricultural and food group in Slavonia and employs more than 1,350 workers.

For more, check out our business section.

Monday, 14 February 2022

Construction of Cres Solar Power Plant Still Up in the Air After a Two Year Delay

February 14th, 2022 - The power plant on Cres will produce about 8.5 million kWh of electricity per year, enough to supply some 2,500 households

The Cres solar power plant, a development worth 41 million kuna situated at the location Orlec-Trinket on Cres island, is to be the largest solar power plant in the country. That is, if construction ever kicks off. The foundation stone was laid almost two years ago, and so far, next to nothing has been done, reports Novi list/Marinko Glavan.

Solar panels for the entire power plant have been manufactured, and all that remains is to install them, connect them to the grid and put them into operation. However, due to disputes between the investor HEP and the contractor, a consortium made of PVI Solar, PVI GmbH, Intecco and Deling, a solar power plant that was supposed to start producing environmentally friendly electric power in late 2020 not only isn’t in operation yet, but still has to be built.

The Cres solar power plant at the Orlec-Trinket site has an estimated capacity of 6,5 megawatts (MW), enough to meet the needs of about 2,500 island households. It’s supposed to ensure a stable supply of electricity and increase the energy self-sufficiency of Cres and Lošinj islands, particularly in periods of increased consumption brought on by the tourist season.

The solar power plant project, which was supposed to be the first large solar power plant in Croatia with a projected annual production of about 8.5 million MWh, was devised entirely by the Kvarner Regional Energy Agency that is owned by Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, who all but gifted the project to HEP.

The Franciscan order on Cres ceded 17 hectares of land necessary for this development, and two years ago, all that remained was seemingly just a matter of formality. The public procurement process was completed, the contractor was selected, the works formally started, and the foundation stone ceremonially laid by HEP President Frane Barbarić, then Minister of Tourism Gari Cappelli, and Minister of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure Oleg Butković. However, not much has happened on the construction site since June 2020.

Asked what was going on with construction of the power plant, Cres Mayor Marin Gregorović said that the Town of Cres doesn’t have any information either, although the question has been raised at a Town Council meeting.

‘We raised the question with the investor, but didn’t receive a reply. There are plans for the construction of the second phase of the Trinket power plant, which should ultimately have a capacity of about ten megawatts. In the Town of Cres we believe that local self-government units, namely the towns of Cres and Mali Lošinj, should be involved in these projects so that our citizens can benefit from them. This way, I fear that the surplus of produced electricity will be exported to the mainland outside the tourist season, and the citizens of Cres won’t benefit from it. Neither will the Town of Cres, except for local fees for construction’, said the mayor.

‘We’re building an energy community on Cres and we’re planning to build another solar plant on the northern side of the island, and where the solar plant at Orlec is considered, I can only say I’m disappointed as it should have already been in operation, meeting the greater part of our citizens’ needs. Outside the tourist season it would meet the needs of the island entirely’, added Gregorović.


According to the information known to Novi list, the delay was caused by an increase in building materials, as well as other costs, which led to a dispute between HEP and the contractor. Novi list sent an inquiry to HEP as to whether the contractor had requested a price correction and if so, in which amount. They also inquired whether the contract was still in force or had been terminated in the meantime.

HEP replied that the project was delayed due to the contractor having failed to meet their contractual obligations within the agreed deadlines.

‘We are working intensely to resolve this situation and expect the project to continue soon.
The solar power plant will be built in its full projected size, with a connected power of 6.5 megawatts. We wish to note that the local manufacturer Solvis has already manufactured and delivered all 20,332 photovoltaic modules required for the power plant.

The Cres solar power plant will produce about 8.5 million kWh of electricity per year, which corresponds to the consumption of some 2,500 households. The investment is valued at more than 40 million kuna’, stated HEP.

Novi list also sent an inquiry to the contractor, PVI d.o.o., to which the company replied they had faced unforeseen difficulties.

‘Namely, HEP made modifications to the project task after the contract was signed, in order to enable confirmation of the main project and obtaining of a building permit. This was preceded by the necessary change of the obtained location permit, which could not have been foreseen before the conclusion of the contract, and all of the above required additional time before construction works began on the solar power plant.

Restrictions were then introduced to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, followed by a significant increase in prices of materials in the construction sector. Such a demanding and large project requires open communication between key stakeholders, as well as a full understanding of the context that is particularly unpredictable in a pandemic.

Unfortunately, as a client, HEP did not show reasonable understanding for the described difficulties which caused the disruption in the construction schedule. Negotiations are still ongoing, with the goal of finding an appropriate solution and enabling the execution of the project as soon as possible’, stated the contractor.

Thursday, 20 January 2022

Ina to Set Up Two Solar Power Plants

ZAGREB, 20 Jan 2022 - The INA oil company and the Končar electrical, transport, and energy company have signed a contract for the construction of the solar power plants Virje and Sisak, INA reported on Thursday.

The Virje solar power plant will be built as part of INA's gas processing facility Molve while the plant in Sisak will be located on INA's industrial premises and is one of the projects to transform the former refinery into a modern industrial center, INA said in a press release.

The power plants will be able to produce 16,000 megawatts of electricity a year, which can cover the average consumption of 4,800 households in Croatia or cities the size of Makarska or Jastrebarsko.

Works at both sites are expected to start in the spring and should be completed during 2023.

The project is yet another step in the process of transforming INA into an energy company and is in line with our development guidelines. Our aim is to upgrade the existing value chain and these solar power plants are the start of creating a sustainable portfolio in producing electricity from renewables. With this project, INA will contribute to supply security and to compliance with the climate objectives Croatia has taken on as an EU member, INA Management Board President Sandor Fasimon said.

Končar's Management Board President Gordan Kolak said that state-of-the-art technology would be used to construct the solar power plants. Končar won the tender amid stiff international competition.

For more, check out our dedicated business section.

Wednesday, 22 December 2021

Valamar and E.ON Launch Largest Solar Power Plant Project in Croatia

December 22, 2022 - The most ambitious solar power plant project in Croatia has been launched, implemented by Valamar and E.ON Solar, which operate within the E.ON Croatia Group.

The cooperation between E.ON and Valamar included the installation of solar power plants at 26 Valamar hotels and camps along the Adriatic coast, which covers 5 percent of Valamar's total electricity needs, reports HRTurizam.

Cooperation with Valamar is the first and largest project in Croatia under the ESCO financing model in which power plants are owned by E.ON's company Solnet, and all energy produced is intended for Valamar for its own consumption.

For many years now, Valamar has been investing significant funds in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, which we will continue to work on intensively in the coming period, said Flavio Gregorović, director of the technical department at Valamar Riviera, adding that the move would increase their competitiveness and provide them with a new renewable source of electricity.

“The amount of electricity produced in the installed solar power plants is sufficient for the entire needs of one of our most successful resorts, Valamar Isabella Island Resort on the island of Sveti Nikola in Porec.

With this initiative, we are sending our guests an additional message about the importance we attach to sustainable development and socially responsible business, in which Valamar has invested more than 400 million kuna in the past five years," concludes Gregorović.

E.ON hired more than 60 experts of various profiles on the project, who realized the services of designing, installing, commissioning, and financing the project, which represents a significant step towards green and sustainable tourism. The use of renewable energy sources also contributes to the EU Green Plan for environmental protection and reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, in which E.ON and Valamar are examples of good practice.

"This collaboration took place in unstable pandemic conditions, but we nevertheless showed that a strong partnership of two leading companies, each in its field, can bring added value both for our business and for guests who are increasingly aware of sustainable and green tourism.

Croatia has a significant solar energy potential which, if used properly, contributes to reducing operating costs, increasing profitability, and minimizing market risks of rising electricity prices. We are glad that Valamar recognized us as a reliable and professional partner and showed us the confidence to use the sun's energy for their benefit, but also for the benefit of Croatian sustainable tourism," said Vedran Belamarić, Director of E.ON Solara.

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