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European Law Monitor newsEIB invests in Croatian energy sector

The European Investment Bank is lending EUR 190m to Croatian gas transportation company, Plinacro, for the expansion and modernisation of the national gas network during the investment period 2007-2011. This strategic project will serve to reinforce interconnections of Croatia´s national gas network with those of neighbouring EU Member and Candidate States, strengthening security of supply and integration of the EU gas grid.

The signing ceremony took place today in Split, Croatia in the presence of EIB Vice-President Mr Matthias Kollatz-Ahnen, Mr Ivo Sanader, Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia, Mr Ivan Å uker, Minister of Finance, Mr. Branko Vukelić, Minister of the Economy, Labour and Entrepreneurship, Ms. Marina Matulović • Dropulić, Minister of Environmental Protection, Physical Planning and Construction, Heads of Counties of Split • Dalmatia, Zadar, Å ibenik • Knin and Lika • Senj, and Mayors of Split, Zadar, Å ibenik, and Gospić.

The project comprises the construction and operation of 930 km of new high-pressure gas pipeline sections throughout Croatia, as well as the continued rehabilitation of the existing gas transmission system. The second loan of its kind to Plinacro, EIB involvement in the ongoing modernisation of Croatia´s energy sector serves to illustrate the Bank´s confidence in the state-owned company to implement complex investment projects. Moreover, this operation signals the Bank´s confidence in and commitment to Croatia´s progress towards EU integration.

This EIB loan fits with the EU priority objective of promoting sustainable, competitive and secure energy sources. Benefits, both economically and environmentally, will be felt from the successful completion of this project. Introducing natural gas into new regions of Croatia, lowering the costs of energy provision, driving efficiency and improving environmental performance are amongst the many foreseen advantages.

The EIB, a partner for Croatia´s EU Accession bid

Since 2001, EIB lending in Croatia has exceeded EUR 970 m for projects supporting rapid integration into the EU. Construction and rehabilitation of the country´s energy infrastructure has accounted for almost 10% of EIB activity during this period.

In addition, the Bank finances investments by small and medium-sized enterprises in Croatia and lends support to projects in the industry and services sectors. Future EIB activity in the country envisages an increase in operations in the environmental, health and education sectors, as well as a growing number of loans to the private sector and local municipalities.

Press Contacts:

Una Clifford, tel.: (+352) 4379-3326, e-mail:

The EIB, the European Union´s financing institution, is the Bank promoting European objectives. Over the last five years, it advanced EUR 218 billion in loans for capital investment projects. Its main lending priorities are economic and social cohesion, implementation of the Lisbon Agenda, the development of trans-European transport networks, energy diversification and security, environmental protection and support for small and medium-sized enterprises. Outside the European Union, the EIB underpins EU cooperation and development aid policies in the Southern and Eastern Neighbours, the African, Caribbean and Pacific regions, Asia and Latin America. The EIB raises its resources on the capital markets and works closely with the other EU institutions.
Reproduced with the permission of the European Commission REF BEI/07/77