The European Commission on Tuesday endorsed projects which enhance access to the global liquefied natural gas (LNG) market and the list of the Commission's priority projects financed from the European Union includes two from Croatia, an LNG terminal on Krk island and the Zlobin-Slobodnica LNG transit gas pipeline, which were given more than HRK 20 million (EUR 2.6m) together.
LNG and its storage will increase the EU's energy security, the Commission said at a presentation of a package of energy security laws, highlighting LNG as the future of Europe's energy sustainability.
Croatian member of the European Parliament Tonino Picula said, according to a press release from his office, that this was "good news for Croatia which not only depends on gas imports but, with its geographical position, can become an important LNG sources which will supply Southeast Europe too, becoming an important regional energy hub. Because of its flexibility, it has the possibility to respond to any gas shortage. Aside from changing Croatia's economic-political positioning in Europe, (this) makes way for small and medium enterprise."
The objective of the package of energy security laws is to make sure that all member states have access to liquefied gas markets and diversify supply sources.
"Less than half the gas demand is covered by domestic production, while the rest is imported, primarily from Norway, Russia and Algeria. Only 10 percent of all imports refers to LNG which is mainly imported from Qatar... with which Croatia has traditionally good relations," Picula said, adding that Qatar had "already expressed interest in the Krk terminal".
Last year Picula was given strong support for the Krk terminal first from the US and then from European Energy Commissioner Maros Sefcovic who, responding to a question from Picula, said that LNG should be prioritised because it was important for the realisation of a European Energy Union and answered many dilemmas.