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Croatia presents public tender results for exploration of geothermal waters

The Croatian Hydrocarbons Agency reported on Friday (6 October) that Croatia’s Economy and Sustainable Development Ministry has issued permits for the exploration of geothermal waters.

The permits have been issued to the following exploration areas: “Leščan” and “Međimurje 5” – to Croatian company INA-INDUSTRIJA NAFTE; “Pčelić” and “Sječe” – to British company IGeoPen; “Kotoriba” – to Turkish company Viola Energy Generation.

“Activation of geothermal potential will set in motion an investment cycle worth around 400 million euros, which is an additional incentive for the Croatian economy,” said Davor Filipović, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development.

“This is a great thing for the Republic of Croatia because we have translated the potential of geothermal energy into concrete projects that will provide around 600,000 MWh [megawatt hours] of green, renewable electricity per year. We will generate electricity on Croatian soil. The extraction of geothermal water for heating purposes is a trend in the world that Croatia is also following. We will have enough energy to heat over 200,000 households. That is about enough energy for two Osijeks a year,” the Minister said.

The Croatian Hydrocarbon Agency, in partnership with the Economy and Sustainable Development Ministry, launched a tender for six exploration areas for geothermal waters between 28 December 2022 to 1 June 2023: Leščan, Međimurje 5, Kotoriba, Pčelić, Sječe and Ferdinandovac-1. Following this period, investors were thus offered exploration areas in four Croatian counties (Međimurska, Koprivničko-križevačka, Podravska, Osječko-baranjska) with a total area of over 200 km2.

The total works include the construction of 21 geothermal wells. The expected value of the investment is over 400 million euros, while the total potential of all the sites is around 600,000 MWh of electricity, said Mr Tuschl, adding that the tender received 16 bids from 11 different bidders for five of the six research areas on offer. For one of the six exploration areas, “Ferdinandovac” no bids were received, leading to the tender being cancelled.

President of the Management Board of the Croatian Hydrocarbon Agency Marijan Krpan stressed that “the Pannonian Basin in the Republic of Croatia has a geothermal gradient 60 per cent higher than the European average, and this puts Croatia in a favourable position when we talk about the possibilities of using geothermal energy.”

Mr Krpan added that the opening of access to data that can now be viewed online and collected for the needs of the oil industry to develop geothermal is a unique example, not only in Europe but also in the world. “We have a database of about 3,500 wells data, a database of seismic data covering an area of about 20,000 square kilometres, and a large amount of 3D seismic data. This is valuable input data for investors, which defines the exploration areas well and confirms the geothermal potential, which significantly reduces the risk and cost of initial investment in research for investors,” he added.

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