Agreements Expected to Bring Slavonski Brod Cleaner Air Signed

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, May 26, 2019 – The people of Slavonski Brod should be a step closer to clean air and a solution to the pollution caused by the oil refinery in Bosanski Brod across the Sava river in Bosnia and Herzegovina after agreements on the supply of the refinery with gas were signed in the Croatian city by the refinery, its owner, Russia’s Zarubezhneft, Crodux Gas and Croatia’s Plinacro gas transport operator. The signing ceremony was attended by President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović.

The agreements envisage the repurposing of a gas pipeline whereby Crodux Gas will supply the refinery with gas for the next ten years, Crodux Energy director Branko Radošević said, adding that this Croatian company would invest HRK 24.5 million in the pipeline.

The refinery will be supplied by gas by connecting to Croatia’s gas transport system by repurposing the 5.5-kilometre-long Slobodnica-Brod pipeline into a direct pipeline.

Radošević said the refinery would repay Crodux Gas the costs of the capital investment in the direct pipeline during the duration of the agreements, adding that the pipeline should be put to use in a year’s time.

Zarubezhneft general director Sergey Kudryashov said he did not believe two years ago that this project would be realised.

But we have shown that we can work together, work fast, reach compromises, he said, adding that the project would help to improve the ecological situation around the refinery. He said the refinery was being overhauled since the end of March and that production was expected to resume next year after it was connected to gas supply.

President Grabar-Kitarović said the Bosanski Brod refinery was not the only problem but that it was the biggest air polluter in the Posavina region.

She recalled that she had discussed finding a solution a number of times with Russian officials and with those in Croatia who were interested. She thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying he recognised the value of the project and stood firmly behind it. She also thanked “everyone” in the Slavonski Brod area for raising the issue of air quality and fighting for dignified living.

Asked by the press how much air pollution in Slavonski Brod would be reduced after the refinery began operating on gas, Kudryashov said the refinery would fully comply with EU regulations.

Reporters also asked what the benefit for Croatia was if the agreement stipulated that the refinery would be entitled to buy the direct pipeline, to which Radošević replied that Crodux Gas was the investor and owner of the pipeline on Croatian territory.

Kudryashov said two payments were envisaged, under a tariff enabling a refund on investments in the pipeline and under a tariff for the gas to be transported. The first tariff will stop being paid after ten years, after which payments will be made under the second tariff, he added.

The signing of the agreements was the result of talks begun in Slavonski Brod after an explosion in the refinery last October. They were initiated by President Grabar-Kitarović, who met in the Croatian city with representatives of the Russian Economic Development Ministry and Zarubezhneft. Also present was Croatian Environment Protection and Energy Minister Tomislav Ćorić and representatives of Plinacro and Crodux.

More news about Slavonski Brod can be found in the Lifestyle section.


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