Italy’s Saipem Interested in Investing in Geothermal Energy in Croatia

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, December 23, 2019 – The Italian company Saipem has expressed interest in investing in geothermal energy in Croatia, the Croatian Hydrocarbon Agency said on Monday, announcing that it would soon invite bids for three more locations.

At a recent meeting at the Croatian Hydrocarbon Agency, representatives of the Italian energy and engineering company Saipem, which until 2016 was a daughter company of the ENI energy giant, expressed interest in making investments in renewable energy in Croatia, notably in geothermal energy.

The Agency’s representatives acquainted them with Croatia’s new regulatory framework that recognises for the first time the great potential of geothermal energy.

Agency Management Board chair Marijan Krpan pointed to the example of the first geothermal power plant in Velika Ciglena, a pilot-project that has brought to Croatia the experience based on which new and similar projects can be planned in the future.

“We have been recognised as a country that has great geothermal potential and the steps that have been made to activate it have been yielding the first results in the past 12 months,” Krpan said.

Saipem has been developing its first geothermal energy exploitation project in South America, and Croatia has been recognised as the next step, Saipem official Paolo Carrera said.

Global production of energy from renewable sources will grow around 2.3% annually in the period until 2040 and Saipem will play an important role in that process, he said.

He said that currently a global search was underway for renewable sources other than sun and wind, which could be used for competitive energy production, noting that geothermal plants were an excellent example as the technology in question meant clean energy production.

Considering your geological potential, I believe that it will have an important role in Croatia’s energy transition, hopefully with Saipem as a partner, said Carrera.

The Agency continues to work on promoting and defining new models for geothermal energy management.

Its officials say that bids will be invited for three locations – Merhatovec (Međimurje County), Pčelić (Virovitica-Podravina County) and Ernestinovo (Osijek-Baranja County), where temperatures exceeding 140 degrees Celsius have been registered, which is suitable for energy production.

Domestic and foreign investors are expected to be particularly interested in the Pčelić project, with the location having a temperature of more than 207 degrees Celsius at a depth of more than 5,000 metres, the Agency says.

It recalls that since 2018, when the Agency was put in charge of geothermal potential, five tenders have been published for the allocation of areas for the exploration and exploitation of geothermal water for the purpose of energy production.

More energy news can be found in the Business section.


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