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OMV, partners plan to build Croatia's first LNG port at Krk

OMV AG, central Europe's biggest oil company, and a group of partners may build a liquefied natural gas terminal in Croatia that could serve as a hub for gas from Africa and the Middle East. The LNG terminal would be able to re-gasify 8 billion cubic meters to 10 billion cubic meters a year, according to the Vienna-based company. OMV hopes to build the terminal on the Isle of Krk with other companies including Croatia's INA Industrija Nafte DD. “Everyone's looking to diversify gas supply,” Alfred Redlich, an official with OMV's business development unit for LNG, said in an interview in Barcelona today. “LNG offers good opportunities.” He was speaking on the sidelines of the IQPC LNG conference. OMV and other European oil companies are seeking new sources of natural gas after Russia briefly shut off some gas to Europe in January during a dispute about the price Ukraine pays for the fuel. About a quarter of Europe's gas comes from Russia, and most of it flows through Ukraine. LNG is natural gas cooled to a liquid so it can be shipped by tanker and converted back into gas on arrival. The terminal would cost at least 700 million euros ($892 million) to € 1 billion, Redlich said. The terminal could start operating in 2011 or 2012, he said. Hungary and Croatia also plan to build a gas pipeline to connect the Croatian terminal with Hungary, Hungarian Economy Minister János Kóka said Jan. 27. (Bloomberg)