Croatia's INA approves 538 millions euro Rijeka refinery upgrade project

Croatian oil and gas company INA said its supervisory board has granted its prior agreement for a 4.0 billion kuna Rijeka refinery revamp project.

INA's management board unanimously approved the investment in the Rijeka Refinery Residue Upgrade project, with the two major shareholders of INA, Croatia's government and Hungary's MOL, both supporting it, INA said in a statement.

"This investment is increasing the overall efficiency and complexity of the Rijeka Refinery and it is a significant part of the INA Downstream 2023 New Course transformation program, which is aimed at turning INA’s Refining and Marketing segment into a sustainable and profitable business," INA said.

The project will include the Residue Upgrade unit, the reconstruction of existing refinery units as well as building a new port with closed petroleum coke storage. The Residue Upgrade unit, using a delayed coker technology, will improve the refinery's product structure by increasing the share of profitable white products such as motor fuels. Its commissioning is expected in 2023.

The Downstream 2023 New Course transformation program also includes the concentration of INA's crude refining activities in the Rijeka refinery and the conversion of the Sisak refinery into an industrial site to serve as a base for bitumen production, a logistic hub and potentially for lubricant production and a bio-component refinery, subject to further investment decisions, INA said.

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The project for the conversion of the Sisak refinery was approved in March.

In September, INA said it completed testing of the energy crop miscanthus as a source of bio-fuel as part of a programme focused on ensuring the sustainability and profitability of its refining system. The miscanthus processing has being tested, with the planned transformation of the Sisak refinery into an industrial centre kept in mind.

INA shares last traded on the Zagreb bourse on December 9, closing flat at 3,140 kuna.