Croatia: 200MEUR will be invested in INA MOL Rijeka Refinery by 2020th

, SEE Energy News

The decision of the Supervisory Board of Oil company Ina is to develop a new strategy not only on the refineries development, but on the development of the whole Ina, and yet to be decided again on what will happen with the Ina’s refineries in Sisak and Rijeka based on this new strategy as a completely new platform, is the second victory of the Croatian side in a dispute with MOL in a few days.

Before that, the decision to close the Sisak refinery was blocked with Ina departure from the session, and now it is a fact that it was destroyed unprofessional and tendentious development strategy, “Project Caliper”, which was presented last week at the last moment, literally a few minutes ago beginning of the mentioned Board session which the part of the members left, and now the future of national companies and oil production in Croatia at all will be viewed on a completely new parameters.

Thus, realistically, decisions on closing the oil production and refining have been blocked so far and the story goes back to a new starting position. The result was a meeting that was held on Wednesday and where the members of the Croatian government and Ina sat together with Economy Minister Ivan Vrdoljak and finally all agreed a common strategy about saving the national oil companies, including Sinisa Petrovic as a member of NO, who gave dubious statements about it until recently.

That new document, a new strategy for the Ina development should show that 600,000 tons of domestic oil production in Croatia, which now exist, is enough for the profitability of the Sisak refinery, and the plan is also to continue to insist on the restoration and modernization of Urinj refinery worth 400 MEUR, which would be executed in phases from 2017th to 2020th, so that the financing of this project would be phased therefore more acceptable to the majority owner. During this time, the plan of the Croatian side is that Sisak works normally, precisely in order to compensate for the reduced production of Urinj during modernization, for which the Croatian government and the Ministry of Economy believe that it will have to be done at the end, just as it is stated in the contract with MOL.

– We will not relent. Now, we all agreed that we have models and tools to force Hungarians to retain production and processing of oil suppliers in Croatia. The MOL did not hide its intention from Ina to make new Petrol, trading company for products sale to gas stations and nothing more. But that they will not succeed at that. Arguments are on our side – one more close market in BiH is opened by shutting down the refinery in Bosanski Brod, which is expected to happen next year, and it is additional argument for the Sisak Refinery to have market conditions for survival. And about Rijeka we will not talk, so why would we start to explore the Adriatic, and then to stay without its own refineries at sea?! It is not an option, it’s a firm decision of this government – says one of the negotiators in this process.

He notes that Sisak also should update additional investments, because the other already have plants for coking, while Urinj cries for modernization, which, as he considers, MOL will be required to implement at the end.