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Croatia’s LNG to be completed by 2014 – PM

Croatia will this autumn take a decision on the location for a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal which should become operational by 2014, Prime Minister Ivo Sanader said on Monday.

“We will decide on the location this autumn. The construction will then start soon and the plan is to complete it by 2014. The most likely location is the northern Adriatic island of Krk,” Sanader told the state radio in an interview.

The LNG project is aimed at lowering dependency of central Europe on Russian pipeline gas. It is planned to be built by a consortium comprising three Croatian and five foreign energy firms.

The five foreign partners are Austria’s OMV, French oil company Total, German utility RWE’s subsidiary Transgas, Slovenia’s gas company Geoplin and Germany’s E.ON-Ruhrgas. Croatian partners, with a 25% stake in the Adria LNG consortium, include oil and gas group INA, where Hungary’s MOL wants to acquire a majority stake, state power board HEP and gas company Plinacro.

A government’s commission recently suggested two possible locations for the terminal. The alternative one is Rasa bay on the northern Adriatic Istrian peninsula. A final investment decision for the project, worth at least $1 billion, is expected by the end of this year. The terminal is planned to have initial capacity of around 10 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas per year which may be later increased to 15 billion bcm. Austria, as an example, needs up to 8.5 bcm annually. LNG, cooled to a liquid state for shipment on special tankers, is reheated on arrival at a terminal and pumped into local pipeline grids. (Reuters)