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INA to concentrate refining in Rijeka

Croatian oil and gas concern INA, a unit of Hungarian peer MOL, which also exercises management rights, will concentrate refining activities at its refinery in Rijeka and convert its refinery in Sisak into an industrial site, INA was cited as saying by Hungarian news agency MTI Wednesday.   

The measure, decided by the board, is part of a strategy, dubbed INA Downstream 2023 New Course, that focuses on "ensuring sustainability and profitability" of the companyʼs refining and marketing activities. INA noted that these activities are generating annual losses of HRK 1 billion (approx. EUR 134.7 million) at present.

The Rijeka refinery will become a "top-level European refinery," supported by investments of more than HRK 4 bln, INA said. The Sisak industrial site "will remain a valuable part of INAʼs operations," it added.

Alternative uses for the site could include bio component refining, petrochemical production, logistics, bitumen, renewables and lubricant production. 

"The company is focused on keeping as much workforce as needed in line with actual business needs and stresses that there will be no non-voluntary redundancy program next year," INA said.  

INA expects the implementation of the program to lift annual EBITA by more than HRK 1 bln after 2023.  

MOL and the state of Croatia each hold just under half of INAʼs shares, but MOL exercises management rights in the company. The stakeholders have long been at odds over investments at the firm, and Croatiaʼs government earlier said it was willing to buy out MOL.

Controversy has also long been brewing over the manner in which MOL acquired management rights in the Croatian firm. Zsolt Hernádi, the chairman and CEO of MOL, is wanted in Croatia for allegedly bribing former Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader a decade earlier to grant MOL the rights. While Hernádi was acquitted of the charge by the Hungarian judiciary, the governing body of Interpol decided in November to allow Croatia to renew a Red Notice for the arrest of Hernádi to face retrial on corruption charges.