Nuclear Energy and Gas Collaboration Highlight Croatia-Slovenia Caucus
Nuclear energy and gas collaboration highlights Croatia and Slovenia’s meeting.
Cooperation in Nuclear Energy and Gas
During the meeting, Slovenia Prime Minister Janez Janša and Croatia Prime Minister Andrej Plenković discussed collaboration in gas and nuclear energy. The ministers in charge will resume the discussion next week. Slovenian Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec and Croatian Economy Minister
Tomislav Čorić will talk about possible concrete cooperation next Monday.
The said ministers will discuss pipeline expansion from Lučko to Zalog, southwest of the Slovenian capital. Lučko is a Zagreb suburb, while Zalog lies on Ljubljana’s eastern outskirts. Likewise, they will talk about further concurrence on the Krško N-plant, jointly owned by Croatia and Slovenia.
“We’re trying to find a common approach to supply, transport routes and the other necessary logistic. Gas, of course, is a small part of the energy we need for a normal life in Europe. Nuclear energy is also very important. A large part of Europe is fully or partly dependent on energy imports from Russia, and anything that represents an alternative to these imports and dependency is a European priority at the moment,” said Janša.
Both Croatia and Slovenia have a lot of potentials to contribute to energy areas to fulfil the countries’ needs. The latter wants to have adequate capacities to become energy self-sufficient even if there are issues in the energy market. Additionally, Slovenia requires around one billion cubic metres of gas each year. The gas pipeline’s capacity from Lučko to Logatec is 270 million cubic metres.
Croatia lacks electricity, while Slovenia is deficient in gas. The Croatian government is ready to partake in the buildup of a second Krško reactor upholding the cooperation’s model. Janša mentioned that the appropriate government agencies would explore potential cooperation for joint investment in the second reactor.
More Issues to Tackle Aside from Nuclear Energy
Prime ministers of Croatia and Slovenia will also tackle bilateral and European issues. Also, both countries will exchange views about Ukraine’s situation. A press conference followed the meeting.
“Today, we have talked a lot about how to adapt to the situation that changed after 24 February, that is, after the Russian aggression against Ukraine began. After that, the world changed, and we will be adapting to these changes for some time to come,” according to Prime Minister Janša.
He added that one of the transitions that need real-time action is a swift and definite deviation from Russian energy. A large percentage of Europe is partly or entirely reliable on Russian energy imports. Also, he lauded Croatia for its prompt decision in building a liquefied natural gas terminal. Another highlight of the meeting is the cooperation in trade and tourism. The bilateral trade volume has already reached €5.6 billion.
Two Countries, One Nuclear Power Reactor
Since 1981, both nations have been sharing the same nuclear power reactor. Croatia jointly owns Krško 1, a 696 MWe Westinghouse nuclear reactor that operates in Slovenia. It is the first Western nuclear power plant in eastern Europe.
The construction of the water reactor began in 1975, and the connection of the grid took place in 1981. It entered commercial operation in 1983. Its operational lifespan is 40 years but can extend to 20 years, however, it’s subject to inspections in 2023 and 2033.
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