Croatia Reopens Bidding for LNG Terminal Capacity
LNG Hrvatska launched a second round of bidding for potential operators of an offshore liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Croatia's northern Adriatic on Friday, after the previous round drew little interest.
Last week, Croatia's parliament passed a law to enable the construction of the terminal, part of a European Union drive to diversify away from Russian gas imports.
The project, which will be built on the island of Krk will be partly funded by the EU but has been criticised by environmental groups and local councils.
LNG Hrvatska, the company behind the project which is expected to be operational in 2020 or 2021, said interested companies have until August 3 to submit their bids.
The head of LNG Hrvatska recently said the cost of the floating terminal had been cut by 90 million euros ($104.75 million) to 250 million euros and its capacity scaled down to ensure its profitability.
The terminal's planned capacity is 2.6 billion cubic metres of gas a year. It will be built in two stages, involving a floating terminal followed by an onshore facility.
The EU has said it would provide 101.4 million euros, while the remainder will be financed from equity and loans.
The terminal would supply gas to countries in eastern and central Europe, regions heavily dependent on Russian gas.
U.S. government officials have said that U.S. energy firms are keen to be major suppliers for the terminal, but no decision has been taken.
($1 = 0.8592 euros)
(Reporting by Maja Zuvela; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)