Croatia might initially choose to construct a floating instead of land-based liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in the northern Adriatic to make it operational more quickly, the government said on Wednesday.
“The government will give the highest priority to this project. At the beginning the focus will be on a floating terminal as it is cheaper and can become operational in two years,” the government said in a statement.
The statement came after a meeting between Croatian Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Karamarko and U.S. energy envoy Amos Hochstein, who voiced interest in the project.
It remains unclear what would happen to the ongoing plans for construction of a land-based terminal on the northern Adriatic island of Krk, for which Croatia has received seven non-binding bids from industrial and financial investors.
The Krk terminal is seen helping to reduce the European Union’s reliance on Russian gas imports.
The value of the land-based terminal, with a capacity of up to 6 billion cubic metres, is seen at around 600 million euros ($650 million). According to the tentative plans, that terminal was to become operational by mid-2019 at the earliest.
(Reporting by Igor Ilic; Editing by Dale Hudson)