Croatian PM promises to support Sisak

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The Croatian government will support efforts to resume production at the Sisak refinery, Croatia’s Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic said on Tuesday after meeting with representatives of the trade union for the refinery’s employees, according a report from Croatian news agency HINA.

Milanovics said the refinery is important for Croatia and the government is working to retain jobs within the plant and to ensure that MOL, the largest shareholder in INA, will invest more in crude oil refining capacities in Croatia.

According to union representatives, Croatian oil and gas company INA is planning to shut down the refinery, which employs 1,200 workers, as a result of the business policy of Hungarian oil and gas company MOL. The union representatives say that the refinery is still profitable and could be profitable in the future.

INA said earlier that it had temporarily shut down production at its oil refinery in Sisak. "A drastic fall in oil prices weakens the profitability of our exploration and production segment and we have to make an additional effort to improve the profitability of the refinery business. In that context we decided to temporarily suspend production in Sisak on January 14," the company said in an announcement.

Hungary's oil and gas company MOL holds about 49% in Croatian peer INA and the Croatian government is the second largest shareholder with approximately 44% interest, however MOL has reportedly been trying to sell its shares.

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