By Eurasia Business News – January 4, 2021

Croatia has begun commercial operation of its LNG terminal on the island of Krk on January 1st, receiving gas supplies from the United States.

View on the coastal city of Dubrovnik, Croatia – Photo credit : Pixabay

The first batch of LNG purchased by Croatia was brought to the new terminal by the Tristar Ruby tanker from the American LNG plant of Cove Point, Maryland. On January 1, 2021, the LNG Croatia terminal received 4 million cubic meters of American gas.

The core of the floating terminal is the regasification unit vessel LNG Croatia, converted from the used gas carrier Golar Viking. It was built back in 2005 at the Korean shipyard Hyundai Heavy Industries and was retrofitted in 2020 at shipyards in China and Croatia (Viktor Lenac).

The terminal is co-owned by Hrvatska elektroprivreda (HEP) (85%) and Plinacro, the national gas transmission system operator (15%).

Initially, the LNG terminal’s capacity was declared at the level of 6-4 million tons per year, as a result, its configuration was revised to 2.6 million tons per year. Croatia consumes only 2.9 billion cubic meters per year, while almost all of this volume was provided by the Russian Gazprom – 2.821 billion cubic meters. Therefore, the prospects for loading the LNG terminal were linked to the possibilities of gas deliveries to neighbouring countries such as Hungary and even Ukraine.

Read also : Serbia started receiving Russian gas through Turkish Stream

The Ukrainian GTS Operator, together with the Hungarian GTS operator, is working to create guaranteed capacities for transporting gas from this terminal to Ukraine. This will create an additional route for gas supplies to the country.

The new Croatian LNG terminal has been designed to transport up to 2.6 billion cubic meters per year of natural gas into Croatia national transmission network as from 2021. Total investment in the project amounted to EUR 233.6 million.

Croatia notified the European Union Commission of the EUR 100 million direct financial contribution in the construction of the LNG terminal, as well as of the security of supply fee. Both support measures involve State aid under EU rules.

The Commission assessed these support measures under the 2014 Guidelines on State Aid for Environmental Protection and Energy. The Commission found that these State aid measures were necessary and proportionate.

The new LNG terminal delivers gas to the Croatian national transmission network, connected with Slovenia, Italy and Hungary, as well as with other EU countries via non-EU Member States such as Serbia and Montenegro.

This infrastructure, combined with those in Lithuania and Poland, should increase competition in gas supplies prices in Central and Eastern Europe.

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