Croatia, Hungary Mull Future Gas Deliveries From Krk

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Croatia, Hungary Mull Future Gas Deliveries From Krk

NEWS 03 Oct 182018-10-03 13:17:24 Croatia, Hungary Mull Future Gas Deliveries From Krk

Croatian and Hungarian ministers met on Tuesday to discuss joint energy plans under which Hungary will receive gas supplies from Croatia's planned LNG terminal on Krk island.

Anja Vladisavljevic BIRN Zagreb
LNG powered car carrier shipnorthern Germany, 03 March 2017. Photo: EPA/FOCKE STRANGMANN

Tomislav Coric, Croatia's Minister of Environment and Energy, met on Tuesday in Budapest with Hungary's Foreign and Trade Minister, Peter Szijjarto, to discuss joint energy projects and gas supplies.

One topic was the construction of a compressor station that will enable the bi-directional gas flow at the gas interconnection of Croatia and Hungary. Th e two states signed a memorandum of understanding on bi-directional gas transmission in June 2017.

Another key topic was also Croatia's liquefied natural gas LNG terminal on Krk, on which, according to plans, work will start in the summer of 2020.

"On both sides, there is a desire for further promotion and deepening of cooperation in the area of energy security and diversification of supply energy routes," Coric said.

Szijjarto said the Croatian LNG terminal was an important opportunity for Hungary to diversify its energy supply after 2020, when its long-term gas supply contract with Russia expires.

The project is of strategic interest also for the European Union, which has supported it with 101.4 million euros. The Krk terminal is seen as an important component of a long-term plan to reduce Europe's energy dependence on Moscow.

Despite objections from eco-activists, local residents and opposition politicians, Croatia's par liament passed the bill on construction of the LNG terminal on Krk in June.

The project will proceed in two phases: construction of a floating terminal in the first phase and construction of a terrestrial terminal in the second.

“There are two alternative [gas] choices â€" one of which is from the Black Sea, and the other is the LNG terminal on the island of Krk," Szijjarto said.

Relations between Hungary and Croatia have long been dogged by arguments over energy.

Most of them relate to the Hungarian oil and gas company MOL and its dealings in Croatia.

In 2003, MOL which bought a 25 per cent share [plus one] of Croatia's state-owned oil denationalised energy company, INA, making Hungary the fourth biggest investor in Croatia.

In 2008, MOL bought another 22.15 per cent of INA’s shares. Along with with the previous 25 per cent, it now had 47.15 per cent of the shares, making it the largest shareholder in INA. The Croatian governm ent held only 44.83 per cent of the shares.

In January 2009, MOL took over management of INA.

In June 2011, however, Croatia’s anti-corruption office, USKOK, said that Ivo Sanader, Croatian Prime Minister from 2003 to 2009, was suspected of having taken a bribe of 10 million euros from MOL’s chief, Zsolt Hernadi, who had obtained management rights over INA in return.

In 2016, the Croatian government said it planned to buy back MOL’s share in INA, although the plan seems to be on hold.

Read more:

Orban’s Hungary Strengthens its Presence in the Balkans

Croatia Parliament to Vote on Krk Gas Terminal Law

Hungary’s Foreign Minister: ‘We’re an Anti-Migration Country’

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