Hungary, Croatia: MOL INA Sisak refinery to be closed

31. October 2016. / SEE Energy News

The workers’ union warned that a composition of twelve railway tanks has transported domestic crude oil from Sisak refinery to Rijeka refinery for processing.

Allegedly, the Management and Supervisory Boards of Croatian oil company INA have not been informed on this transport, but this marks the beginning of the long-desired aspirations of INA’s largest shareholder – Hungarian MOL, that domestic crude oil should not be processed in Sisak refinery, which should be closed and the processing of crude oil should be continued in Rijeka refinery. This move is also contrary to the statement of Croatian Minister of Economy Tomislav Panenic from July, who said that without the agreement of the two largest shareholders in oil company INA – the Croatian state and the Hungarian MOL, it is inappropriate to make decision such as the one regarding the transportation of crude oil from Sisak to Rijeka refinery, which could be an indication on the closure of oil refinery in Sisak.

The statement from INA said that the reason for this transport is testing of the system of transportation of crude oil by rail, while the test consisted of transporting 600 tons of crude oil from storage near Sisak to Rijeka oil refinery, adding that this step is in accordance with INA’s aim to ensure oil supply security in Croatia. The statement also denied the alleged closure of Sisak refinery and said that the start of crude oil processing in Sisak is scheduled for 25 October.

In mid-March, HQ for the defense of Sisak refinery said that they are concerned that MOL will start exporting crude oil produced in Croatia which would also mean the suspension of operation of the refinery. They base their concern on the alleged trial loading of domestic crude oil in railway tanks on 2 March, which is considered as the first step in closure of the refinery. The management of the refinery was supposed to present production plan for this year to Worker’s Council on 15 March, but the meeting was postponed for unknown reasons. The management confirmed earlier that the production plan for this year envisages the processing of 750,000 tons of crude oil, which is slightly more than in last year, but even this quantity would keep procession facilities at Sisak refinery operational only for four months in 2016.

Hungarian oil and gas company MOL has 49.08 % of INA’s shares, while the Croatian state has 44.84 % stake in the company.

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