A project to build Croatia’s first floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal on the Adriatic island of Krk has triggered opposition from local communities and environmentalists.
According to local media reports, around two thousand people gathered on Saturday in the city of Rijeka in the northern Adriatic Sea to protest against the LNG import project that includes setting up of a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) at Omišalj on the island of Krk.
They claim the FSRU-based terminal is not acceptable from a legal, economic and an environmental point of view. Instead, the protesters suggest the terminal to be built on land.
One of the issues brought up by the protesters is the use of seawater in the regasification process as well as the plan to use chlorine for protection of the terminal’s pipes.
A petition initiated by the municipality of Omišalj has also been launched. There were more than 11,000 signatures for the online part of the petition by the time this article was published.
To remind, the Croatian government recently announced a special law to speed up the construction of the terminal.
The Balkan country declared the LNG import terminal as a strategic project back in 2015 and also adopted additional measures in 2016 on speeding up the development.
The Krk LNG import project will be developed in two phases. The first phase includes setting up of a FSRU while the second phase entails the construction of a land-based LNG import facility, according to LNG Croatia, the state-owned company that is developing the project with an initial capacity of 2.6 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas a year.
The European Union has also put the LNG terminal on its list of projects of common interest and will invest 101.4 million euros ($124.6m) in the development. The first phase of the LNG project is estimated to cost about 383.6 million euros.
LNG Croatia expects to make a final investment decision in 2018, however, there were recent reports that the company needs to make the decision by June if it wants to meet its target of starting operations by 2020.
According to the project development schedule, FSRU to serve the project will be procured by the end of the current year with an expected delivery by the end of 2019.
LNG World News Staff