May 24, 2024

Janaf Secures Solar Energy Vođinci

Jadranski Naftovod, through its subsidiary JANAF OIE, has begun its first solar power plant project in Vođinci, aiming for a March operational date, with a designed capacity of around 14 MW and approximately 10 MW of connected power.

Entering Croatia's Energy Market

Through its subsidiary JANAF OIE, Jadranski Naftovod has acquired 100% of the shares in Solar Energy Vođinci. This acquisition includes an investment in a solar power plant in Vođinci, near Vinkovci, which features a designed power installation of 14.2857 megawatts and a connected power of 9.99 megawatts.

Stjepan Adanić, President of the JANAF Management Board, highlighted that acquiring the solar power plant project represents the first significant milestone in their new strategic direction. While ensuring the continued security of energy supply to Central Europe and neighbouring countries, they will focus on expanding their renewable energy business, to establish JANAF as a key player in the Croatian electricity market.

“Taking over the solar power plant project marks the first practical outcome of our new strategic approach. We will continue to grow the business segment of renewable energy sources while keeping energy security in Central Europe and surrounding countries in mind. We want JANAF to become a recognised player in Croatia's energy market,” Adanić remarked.

Solar Project to be Operational by March

Jadranski Naftovod announced on Wednesday that the project has entered the initial construction phase, with building permits secured, and the solar power plant is expected to be operational by March 1, 2025.

The company's robust financial position, achieved through highly successful operations, has enabled it to invest in renewable energy sources. The completion of the first project acquisition in the renewable energy sector marks an important milestone, but it is just the beginning, as the company is also evaluating several other greenfield and mature projects in this field.

"Jadranski Naftovod's current strong financial position results from extremely successful operations." These operations have given us the chance as a corporation to invest in renewable energy sources. While I am delighted that the first acquisition of a project in the field of renewable energy sources has been completed, I would like to underline that this is only the first such investment. Vladislav Veselica, a member of the company's Management Board, stated, "We are currently considering some other greenfield and mature projects of this type."

Since adopting the Transition and Development Strategy for 2022 to 2030, with a vision extending to 2050, JANAF has been actively working to diversify its operations and transform into a green energy company. JANAF has already completed integrated solar power plant projects at the Sisak, Žitnjak, and Omišalj terminals, and is currently preparing non-integrated solar power plants in Slavonski Brod, Omišalj, and Žitnjak in Zagreb.

The Untapped Solar Energy Resources in Croatia

Croatia boasts substantial solar potential, with one of the highest insolation levels in the EU, promising between 2,000 to 2,700 hours of sunshine annually. Despite this advantage, as of January 1, 2024, Croatia had only 462.5 MW of installed solar power, lagging behind due to slow permitting processes for solar projects compared to other EU nations. Analysts suggest Croatia could harness up to 7 GW of solar power by 2030, indicating significant untapped potential for solar energy development within the country.

In a span of two decades, solar energy capacity in Europe has surged from 2 GW to 1000 GW, marking an extraordinary growth trajectory. Walburga Hemetsberger, CEO of SolarPower Europe, attributes this remarkable expansion to the undeniable cost-effectiveness of constructing solar power plants and wind farms compared to traditional fossil fuel, natural gas, and nuclear alternatives.

The burgeoning solar industry presents a compelling opportunity for Croatia's economic development. Walburga Hemetsberger, CEO of SolarPower Europe, highlighted the potential for domestic manufacturing facilities, citing Solvis, the country's sole solar panel factory.

While Solvis produces approximately one million modules annually, Croatia still imports most other components, signifying room for expansion and localisation of the solar supply chain. Investing in solar manufacturing could bolster Croatia's energy independence and stimulate domestic industry and job creation, aligning with broader European ambitions for renewable energy leadership.

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