Former Economy Minister: Closure of Sisak Refinery Seems Inevitable

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Former Economy Minister Panenić speaks about the future of INA.

Member of Parliament and former Economy Minister Tomislav Panenić (MOST) said on Wednesday that MOL was trying to suspend operations at the oil refinery in Sisak, and then at the refinery in Rijeka as well, calling on Croatian politicians to reach a consensus and adopt decisions about energy security and further relations with MOL, reports Večernji List on October 26, 2016.

“MOL is trying to implement its strategy of termination of operations at the Sisak oil refinery and to delay as much as possible the modernization of the refinery in Rijeka. I am afraid that it would try to close down both refineries. According to my information, this would mean that the continental part of Croatia would be supplied from modernized refineries in Budapest and Bratislava, while the Adriatic part of Croatia would be supplied via port terminals. It is clear that MOL has implemented a policy which should secure for it the status of energy leader in the region”, said Panenić in Parliament, He was Economy Minister until last Wednesday, when new government was confirmed.

He reported that MOL’s Board of Directors adopted on 13 October a long-term business strategy until 2030, seeking to strengthen its position in Central and Eastern Europe in order to become the leading chemical group in the region. “Of course, we are pleased that our strategic partner in INA has such ambitious plans, but we hope that these plans will also be turned into a common strategy with the Croatian government on how to develop INA until 2030. “However, I have not seen any indication that such strategy exists”, said Panenić.

Panenić also gave a separate statement to reporters in which he reiterated that the closure of the refinery in Sisak seemed inevitable. “It appears that the closure of the refinery in Sisak is inevitable”, said Panenić, adding that it was necessary for the government to as soon as possible adopt a firm position and take actions that will guarantee the development of INA.

“They complain that we are making political decisions, but Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban attended some business meetings of MOL and he participated in the discussions. We see that everything is allowed there, but here the Croatian government is not allowed to monitor the operations of INA as one of its strategic companies”, concluded Panenić.


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