The Slovenia Times

Croatian energy expert sees solution for Croatia, Slovenia in Rijeka oil refinery


Ljubljana/Zagreb - Croatian energy expert Davor Štern sees a solution to tackle high oil prices in Croatia in the unused Rijeka-based oil refinery, noting that this could also bring benefits to Slovenia.

Croatia's former economy minister and ex-director of the Moscow INA branch told the STA in an interview that there had never before been such uncertainty about energy and prices.

He thinks a solution for oil shortages and price hikes in Croatia lies in the unused INA Rijeka oil refinery. If the refinery was fully operational, it would be able to meet the needs of the market at a fair price, he said.

Croatia has a 44% stake in oil company INA, while Hungarian MOL Group owns a nearly 50% stake, which means that an agreement would have to be reached with the latter.

Štern believes that Slovenia could also benefit from the refinery. "Slovenia is a neighbouring friendly country of Croatia. We have a refinery on the Adriatic and we have [crude oil transportation company] JANAF. Through JANAF we can launch oil refining in Rijeka, and this can also meet Slovenia's needs."

"A serious dialogue needs to be launched and a political agreement reached," he said, adding that Slovenia and Croatia were so close and so energy-connected that they could jointly pursue a systemic energy policy.


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