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INTERVIEW - Croatia’s JANAF to invest 70 mln euro in oil storage

Apr 29, 2024, 1:50:18 PMArticle by Annie Tsoneva
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April 29 (SeeNews) - Croatian oil pipeline operator JANAF [ZSE:JNAF] plans to expand its existing crude oil warehouse capacity on the northern Adriatic island of Krk, with an estimated investment of around 70 million euro ($75 million), a JANAF management board member said.

INTERVIEW - Croatia’s JANAF to invest 70 mln euro in oil storage
Vladislav Veselica, management board member of JANAF. Source: JANAF

Due to the robust demand from JANAF's partners resulting in full capacity utilisation, an expansion is mainly focused on increasing the storage capacity for oil and oil derivatives at the Omisalj terminal, Vladislav Veselica, management board member of JANAF, told SeeNews in a written statement on Thursday.

The pipeline and storage system of JANAF was built to meet the requirements of refineries in Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, in addition to serving users in Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia, according to its website.

The designed capacity of the JANAF pipeline amounts to 34 million tonnes of crude oil transported annually (MTA), with an installed capacity of 24 MTA.

In addition to a 631 km long pipeline, majority state-owned JANAF also operates crude oil and oil product terminals located on the island of Krk, as well as in Sisak, Virje, Slavonski Brod and Zitnjak.

JANAF's current storage capacity is 2.1 million cubic metres for crude oil and 242,000 cubic metres for oil derivatives. The company maintains storage facilities for oil and oil derivatives at the Omisalj terminal on Krk, for oil derivatives at the Zitnjak terminal in Zagreb, and for crude oil at the terminals of Sisak and Virje.

"The enlargement of the capacity by two tanks for crude oil has started, and we have asked the Croatian government to classify this project among those of strategic importance for the country," Veselica said, noting that such classification would accelerate the project's implementation.

"Given the company's substantial financial assets and stable cash flow, currently standing at about 250 million euro, we expect to be able to finance the planned expansion of storage capacities on our own," he added.

Some of the companies that have oil or oil derivatives storage contracts with JANAF are Serbian oil and gas group NIS [BEL:NIIS], which is its main partner, Croatian oil and gas company INA [ZSE:INA], Hungarian energy group MOL, Swiss oil and gas group Vitol, the Croatian Hydrocarbon Agency, Lukoil Croatia and local oil derivatives wholesaler and retailer Adria Oil.

Earlier this year, JANAF signed a memorandum of understanding with Kazakhstan's state-owned oil and gas company KazMunayGas for potential cooperation in the transportation and storage of crude oil and storage of oil derivatives.

DIVERSIFICATION UNDERWAY

In January 2022, JANAF announced a plan to diversify into renewables as part of its strategy to develop new sources of financing, sustainability, and long-term profitability. The company adopted a business and development strategy extending until 2030, with a vision including goals up to 2050. Under this strategy, JANAF plans to venture into low-carbon activities, in line with the broader trend in the energy sector towards reduced reliance on oil and oil derivatives while increasing the use of energy from renewable sources.

Veselica noted that the first steps taken by the company towards its transformation into a modern energy company included the construction of integrated solar power plants at the terminals in Sisak, Zitnjak, and Omisalj.

Unintegrated solar power plants are currently being built for the terminals in Slavonski Brod, Omisal, and Zitnjak in Zagreb.

"One of our initial goals is to meet 20% of our electricity needs from these solar power plants by 2026," he added.

The company has financed these investments using own funds.

"We are preparing investments in renewable energy sources, mostly in wind and solar power plants," Veselica said adding that JANAF may announce soon its first acquisition in the renewable energy sector.

"The ultimate goal is to transform JANAF into a key player in the Croatian market for electricity generated from renewable sources, while continuing investments in our core business, which will remain essential for some time to fulfil the energy needs of Central Europe," Veselica said.

He sees tourism and investments in luxury hotels as potential avenues for the company's diversification. However, to pursue investments in sectors beyond the energy industry, it's necessary to amend the strategic by-laws of the company, a step the management plans to take soon, he added.

Veselica mentioned that JANAF is also exploring opportunities to collaborate with companies from various sectors focused on sustainable energy projects, as well as with start-ups offering innovative solutions in the field of renewable energy.

"We are prepared to embrace all changes and adapt to market developments to enable the company's continued growth and profitability, ensuring satisfaction for the company's owners and other key stakeholders," Veselica concluded.

The company’s shares last traded on Thursday, ending 3.43% higher at 905 euro on the Zagreb bourse.

($ = 0.932 euro)

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