tomislav panenić.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Damir SENČAR /ds

Croatia aims to complete a floating liquefied natural gas terminal in the northern Adriatic in 2018 and initial capacity is set at around two billion cubic metres of gas a year, Economy Minister Tomislav Panenic was quoted by the Reuters news agency as saying.

"It does not mean we're giving up a land-based LNG terminal altogether, but at the moment we think that we can secure stability on the markets with a floating terminal," Panenic told Reuters in an interview.

Croatia's initial plans included a land-based terminal with an annual capacity of up to six billion cubic metres of gas. Its target markets are central and eastern European countries, according to Reuters' news item.

Foreign investors, including some from the United States, have voiced interest in the terminal on island of Krk and talks on financing details are expected to accelerate in the coming months.

The minister was quoted as saying that Croatia deemed the energy sector as one of the most important for boosting investments in the newest European Union member, which posted growth of 1.6 percent last year after six consecutive years of recession.

"We hope that better use of the EU development funds and reforms to ease investments will bring growth of at least 2 percent this year," he told Reuters.

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