The new terminal would improve energy security of Croatia and the region.
The possible construction of an LNG terminal at Omišalj on the island of Krk is one of the strategic energy projects, not just for Croatia, but also for the whole Europe. The successful implementation of the LNG project would completely change the situation not only in the gas sector but also in the related electricity and transport sectors, reports Večernji List on November 17, 2017.
Still, opinions about the project are divided, ranging from those who support it wholeheartedly to those who warn about its questionable profitability. It is undeniable that the importance of the possible construction of an LNG terminal on Krk is not measured just in economic, but also in security and geostrategic terms.
LNG encourages the globalisation of the natural gas market and increases security and competitiveness of supply options. Also, due to possible changes in geopolitical relations and above all the possibility of supply of the EU gas market from different sources, the project of building Croatia’s LNG terminal has become an essential issue for energy policy in the broader geopolitical environment. Looking at the broader context, the introduction of a new transport route, and above all the new sources of natural gas supply, would help Croatia achieve its energy-strategic potential and become an important hub in the integrated European and Euro-Mediterranean gas systems.
The significance of the project was also confirmed by the European Union, which has decided to co-finance about one-third of the costs. In February, 102 million euros was allocated from the European CEF Fund to Croatia for the LNG terminal project on Krk, and am international tender has been announced recently for companies interested in delivering a floating gasification plant for liquefied gas gasification.
Goran Frančić, director of LNG Croatia, points out that for so far everything is going well and that the interest in the international tender, whose first pre-qualification phase is underway, is substantial. It is expected that the tender will be completed successfully early next year.
The public consultation process for the environmental impact study is currently ongoing. The relationship with the local community is particularly important, but LNG Croatia believes it will succeed in explaining the project’s importance for the development of local, national and regional economies.
The first gas from the terminal is expected by the end of 2019 or early 2020. Although it was previously planned that a land terminal would be constructed, the idea of a floating terminal is more practical and cheaper. Frančić explains that, when the project was first discussed, the only technology available was to build a land terminal.
“For a number of reasons, that project has not been realised. However, over the past few years, there has been significant progress in the technical performance of floating terminals, the so-called FSRUs – Floating Storage Regasification Units. This is not a new revolutionary technology, but a very successful optimisation of existing technologies. Several shipyards in East Asia, South Korea and Singapore have specialised in building such ships, which can be constructed with significantly lower investment costs and in a shorter time frame. Furthermore, if the market circumstances change, the ship may simply move to a different location. Such technology has opened up many markets and has caused a large increase in demand for liquefied natural gas,” said Frančić,
Translated from Večernji List.