Croatia could turn its smallest refinery into biomass plant

ZAGREB (Reuters) — Croatia’s loss-making refinery in the central town of Sisak could be turned into logistics center and a facility to refine biomass, consultants Deloitte have proposed.

Photo courtesy of INA.
Photo courtesy of INA.

The 60,000-bpd refinery is owned by INA, which is in turn owned by the Croatian government and Hungary’s MOL. INA has a bigger refinery with capacity of 100,000 bpd in the Adriatic port of Rijeka.

INA, which published the proposal by Deloitte on Thursday, said the Sisak refinery generated losses worth $23.53 MM in the first half of 2017.

“INA’s refining capacities considerably surpass demand on the small regional market,” INA said in a statement. “It is now necessary to hold talks with all the relevant stakeholders on the future of the Sisak refinery.”

Deloitte’s study suggested the Sisak site could be turned into biorefinery within three years, INA said.

Fearing possible closure, a workers union at Sisak has threatened to block oil being transported to Rijeka unless the smaller plant is kept open. The Rijeka plant is due to be modernized.

Zagreb and MOL have for several years been at odds over management rights and INA’s investment strategy. They have been involved in international arbitrations to resolve the row.

Croatia’s government said in August it was hiring an adviser on a possible transaction to buy back MOL’s 49% stake in INA.

Reporting by Igor Ilic; Editing by Edmund Blair

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