The Croatian government has announced an investment of EUR 180 million in expanding the capacity of the LNG terminal on the island of Krk and building a new gas pipeline. Croatia is boosting its LNG capacity in a bid to strengthen gas supplies, while environmental organizations say the government is misleading the public with this announcement.
The Croatian government plans to invest EUR 180 million to expand the capacity of the floating LNG terminal on the island of Krk, and build a new gas pipeline.
The terminal on the northern Adriatic island was put into operation in January 2021. According to the government’s announcement, the annual capacity of the gas terminal should be increased from 2.6 billion cubic meters to 6.1 billion cubic meters. The project also includes investments in a new pipeline to connect the cities of Zlobin and Bosiljevo in northwestern Croatia.
The capacity of the terminal should increase from 2.6 billion to 6.1 billion cubic meters of gas annually
The estimated value of the pipeline is EUR 155 million, while EUR 25 million is earmarked for the expansion of LNG capacity. So far, no project timelines have been specified.
Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said the capacity of the LNG terminal on Krk amounts to approximately half of the capacity of the LNG terminals that Germany plans to build in 2024, of 13 billion cubic meters.
The terminal on Krk amounts to half of the capacity of the planned LNG terminals in Germany, Plenković noted.
Croatia is becoming a “regional energy hub” with this project, which will be financed from EU funds and the state budget, as announced by the government.
LNG is distorted solution
The Croatian government’s narrative of energy independence through the LNG terminal on Krk is distorting the public view, environmental activists from Zelena akcija/FoE Croatia said.
They stressed that Croatia, like all of Europe, must gradually abandon gas, not build links to new supply chains.
Diversifying sources of gas procurement simply replaces one dependence on fossil fuels with another
Diversifying sources of gas procurement simply replaces one dependence on fossil fuels with another. It replaces dependence on Russia with other sources, such as the United States, Zelena akcija noted.
Despite billions of euros invested in new gas pipelines and LNG terminals, the share of Russian gas in total consumption in the EU has increased over the last decade, as has Europe’s overall dependence on this energy product, according to Zelena akcija.
The expansion of the terminal’s capacity and the construction of a new gas pipeline will take a year and a half to two years, activists say. They point out that this is practically a reconstruction, which, under the law, requires a new environmental impact study.
“Such a doubling of the capacity of the terminal, which exceeds the real needs of Croatia, is not foreseen by the existing permits or the existing study. Declaring something a strategic project must not mean bypassing legal procedures,” Zelena akcija noted.