The Plinacro gas pipeline operator has received the first grant installment from the Connecting Europe Facility to carry out preparatory activities related to the LNG pipeline Zlobin-Bosiljevo-Sisak-Kozarac-Slobodnica, amounting to slightly less than one million euros, which is 40% of the total grant amounting to EUR 2.25 million, Plinacro said on Thursday.
Plinacro was awarded the 2.25 million euro grant by the CEF, a fund intended for infrastructure projects related to transport, telecommunications and energy, in July this year.
The Zlobin-Bosiljevo-Sisak-Kozarac-Slobodnica project is related to the construction of the main dispatch pipeline for liquefied natural gas along that route.
The grant for the project was recently officialised with the signing of a grant agreement by Plinacro and the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA), which signed the document on behalf of the European Commission. The first grant installment was paid immediately upon the signing of the agreement and the remainder will be paid upon the completion of preparatory activities, in the first half of 2018, Plinacro said.
The CEF grant is to cover half the cost of preparatory activities related to the gas pipeline project, namely its pre-investment stage.
The gas pipeline is expected to be a part of a Baltic-Adriatic gas corridor which would link the Polish and Croatian LNG terminals. It is crucial for a reliable and secure supply of natural gas to countries in the wider region, Plinacro said.
The gas pipeline would connect to the existing interconnection Croatia-Hungary at Slobodnica, in the eastern Brod-Posavina County, and to planned interconnections with Serbia (Slobodnica-Sotin-Backo Novo Selo) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (Slobodnica-Brod-Zenica). Without this gas pipeline, it would be impossible to transport gas from LNG terminals to said countries, via Hungary further to Slovakia and Ukraine, and via Serbia to Romania and Bulgaria, Plinacro said.
The project is estimated at some EUR 370 million. Its total annual capacity will be 10 billion cubic metres of gas and its first phase (with the capacity of 4.6 billion cubic metres) is expected to be completed in 2019, Plinacro said.