Plenković: Investment Decision on Expansion of LNG Terminal Very Close

Total Croatia News

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Photo: Marin Tironi/PIXSELL
Photo: Marin Tironi/PIXSELL

“Various options exist and the best and most effective one is an investment in the existing terminal to increase its capacity,” Plenković said ahead of an EU summit where the main topic will be Ukraine and the consequences of the Russian aggression, which is why the EU is endeavoring to reduce its dependence on Russian energy and diversify its supply routes as soon as possible.

“In the current circumstances, despite it being a surprise to many, Croatia has the opportunity to become a real energy hub for Central Europe,” Plenković underscored.

He added that an investment decision is very close regarding the expansion of the existing terminal so that it can be used by many countries in the neighborhood, Slovenia, Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and others.

Plenković did not wish to comment on Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s statement that excluding the Druzhba oil pipeline from a ban on Russian oil imports was a good approach but that Hungary needs a guarantee that it can import oil also in case of any incident occurring on the section of the pipeline that runs through Ukraine.

“I didn’t hear what he said so I cannot comment but I can say that (Croatian oil pipeline operator) Janaf, which transports oil from Omišalj towards the mainland, including Hungary, is completely capable of supplying huge quantities of oil that are required by Hungarian refineries,” said Plenković.

With regard to procuring vacuum gas oil that INA obtains from Russia for its refinery in Rijeka, Plenković said that “INA is not the only one in the world that needs vacuum gas oil, other refineries need it too and supply it from other countries.”

According to a European Commission recommendation, Croatia could continue to obtain vacuum gas oil from Russia for the Rijeka refinery on the condition it does not have an alternative from other sources.

Plenković said that EU leaders will just “touch on” the subject of a sixth package of sanctions at the summit. EU leaders have not been able to come to an agreement on the matter for a month now because of Hungary’s opposition and Plenković said the matter would be decided at the level of ambassadors and ministers.

The basis for discussion on the energy issue will be the European Commission’s RePowerEU program, which says that the EU should invest in a joint effort to secure sufficient energy products and create an alternative network for its citizens and economies so as to be able to stop being dependent on Russian energy.

“Some countries’ dependence on Russia has developed for years and that cannot be changed overnight,” said Plenković.

For more, check out our politics section.


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