Tehran, Zagreb Ready to Launch Energy Projects

Tehran, Zagreb Ready to Launch Energy ProjectsTehran, Zagreb Ready to Launch Energy Projects

Grounds have been prepared to expand energy ties between Iran and Croatia to launch a wide range of power projects.  

In a meeting between Alireza Daemi, the Iranian deputy energy minister for planning and economic affairs, and Croatian deputy minister of industries, Mario Antonich, the two sides explored grounds for cooperation in the energy sector.

Pointing to the fact that after the implementation of the nuclear accord between Iran and the world powers, Iranian enterprises have started to collaborate with international companies, the official said technical cooperation between Iranian and Croatian companies to undertake mega electricity and water projects can continue through joint ventures.

"The Persian Gulf state has a 10-year record in electricity exchange with regional countries. It provides many countries with their much-needed technical and engineering services and equipment," he said.

Daemi noted that Iran has access to an ample supply of natural gas, adding that Iran has the potential capacity to generate power with the help of combined-cycle and gas power plants as well as renewable energy sources like solar, wind and geothermal resources.

According to the official, Croatian companies played an active role in implementing energy plans in Iran in cooperation with the Energy Ministry for 40 years and there are still a wide range of opportunities to resume the deep-rooted collaboration.

Antonich said despite Croatia's small area, as an EU member state, the country has access to state-of-the-art technologies that can be flourished through collaboration with Iranian companies and guarantee the economic prosperity of the two states.

"The Persian Gulf country can be a strategic partner to help Croatia expand its range of activities both in the region and across the world," he said.

Antonich noted that Croatian private sector enterprises are interested in cooperating with Iran in a wide range of energy fields, including wind energy initiatives, water and wastewater plans, garbage recycling, dam construction as well as oil, gas and petrochemical projects.

Iran has the world's largest gas reserves and Croatia, which is located at an important geopolitical location, could become a distributor of Iranian gas to many European countries. Iranians are interested in investing in the fields of liquefied natural gas, shipbuilding, petrochemical and tourism, while Croatian companies want to invest in infrastructure and energy sectors.

 In 2008, Croatia's national oil company INA signed an agreement on oil and gas exploration at 17 fields in Iran, but the project was stopped due to sanctions.

The company has accepted the invitation of the Croatian Chamber of Economy to travel to Iran. It will be joined by representatives of many other businesses.

Croatia produces only about 58% of its own electricity and 95% of its electricity generation capacity are owned by Hrvatska Elektroprivreda, the state-owned electricity group.

Around half of Croatia's electricity generation comes from hydropower, with most of the rest coming from thermal power plants run on fuel oil/natural gas and coal.

Only 4.9% of electricity generated in Croatia came from new renewables in 2012. Croatia's renewables capacity, other than large hydro, consists of plants owned by private operators. By the end of 2013, 300 MW of wind turbines had been installed. In 2012, the share of renewables in the total primary energy supply amounted to 12.5%—still far from Croatia's target of 20% by 2020.