Plinacro received first part of CEF grant for interconnection gas pipeline project Lučko-Zabok-Rogatec and two compressor stations

Zagreb, 11 May 2016
The Croatian gas transmission system operator, Plinacro Ltd., on the one side, and the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA), on behalf of the European Commission, on the other side, signed the agreement on EUR 4,825 million grant awarded to Plinacro from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), a fund intended for infrastructure projects of transport, telecommunications and energy. This act formalised the decision made in January this year by the European Parliament on the recommendation of the CEF coordination committee.
These funds will be spent on the completion of all remaining preparatory activities in the project of interconnection gas pipeline with Slovenia on the direction Lučko-Zabok-Rogatec, i.e. for the pipeline and two compressor stations. It is currently the most significant gas energy infrastructure project in Croatia, and also a project of vital importance for security of supply of the entire region. Its completion would provide conditions of reliable and competitive gas supply of the Croatian gas market and the markets of neighbouring countries.
Plinacro received this grant to cover half of the costs of preparatory activities of the project. The Agreement defines that the grant is to be spent for the drawing up of the main and detailed design for two sections of the gas pipeline Lučko-Zabok-Rogatec, as well as for the feasibility study, functional specification, basic documentation, environmental impact assessment and for basic, main and detailed project for two compressor stations.
The Agreement also defines that INEA will allocate a part of funds immediately upon its signing, therefore Plinacro received 40 percent of the total of the approved funds. The remaining amount will be paid upon the completion of preparatory activities for which the grant was awarded.
The gas pipeline Lučko-Zabok-Rogatec and compressor stations have been included in the same cluster on the second List of Projects of Common Interest of EU (PCI), while the gas pipeline is also on the CESEC list of projects which should provide diversification and security of natural gas supply of EU member countries from Central and South-Eastern Europe. The implementation of the project of their construction will provide bi-directional gas flow at both interconnections (with Slovenia and Hungary) and result in high level diversification of supply. In addition, the gas pipeline Lučko-Zabok-Rogatec, as one of their delivery directions, fits into the future projects of Ionian-Adriatic Pipeline (IAP) and the LNG terminal on the island of Krk, and it is foreseen that it will be used for transit of gas from the IAP, LNG and other potential supply sources.
Likewise, when previously stated EUR 4,825 million are added to the funds that Plinacro already received in July last year for the project of the main delivery gas pipeline for LNG on the direction Zlobin-Bosiljevo-Sisak-Kozarac-Slobodnica, the Croatian gas transmission operator received from CEF fund slightly more than EUR 7 million in less than a year, that is, grants exceeding HRK 50 million. Having in mind that a new investment cycle is ahead of Plinacro, and the fact that the European funds have a key role in the investment potential of the company, the mentioned funds are an appreciated support in its implementation.