Sector: CNG

32nd Meeting of Gas Professionals summarised

ortance of Ukraine as a gas hub which also has geopolitical importance. The talk on the effectiveness of the hybrid system using fuel cells based on natural gas in Dalmatia provided insight into a simulation model of a hybrid system for production of electricity and thermal energy.
32nd International Scientific and Expert Meeting of Gas Professionals© HSUP32nd Meeting of Gas Professionals - the exhibition


Liberalisation and deregulation of the gas market has great repercussions on the natural gas sector, note Prof Dr Daria Karasalihović Sedlar (Faculty of Mining, Geology and Petroleum). She warned that consolidation is anticipated on the relatively small Croatian market, i.e. a reduction in the number of suppliers and distributors. However, the expectation is that politics will continue to have a very strong influence. In the last three years, the price of gas for households has been falling in line with the European market, and only this year has a correction been made, said Antonija Glavaš (Management Board member at Prvo plinarsko društvo – PPD) in her introductory talk “Supplying Gas Under Conditions of a Fully Liberalised Market”. Natural gas prices on the European market are increasing, hence the expectation is that they will also increase in the Republic of Croatia following termination of regulated prices for households. She also talked about the model for the deregulation of prices on the gas market in Romania. Her recommendation is that the government redefine the role of the public service, as well as the role of suppliers in their obligation towards the public service as it should imply.

The presentation by Antonija Glavaš was also an introduction to the panel discussion: “Supply of Gas Under Conditions of a Fully Liberalised Market and the Consolidation of Suppliers” which was moderated by Marko Biočina, executive editor of the Jutarnji list newspaper, and participating as panelists were: D.Sc. Nikola Vištica (Croatian Energy Regulatory Agency), Antonija Glavaš (Prvo plinarsko društvo d.o.o.), Marko Blažević (HEP – Opskrba plinom d.o.o.), Srećko Ezgeta (Elektrometal – distribucija plina d.o.o.) and Damir Škugor (INA – Industrija nafte d.d., Department for Trading in Natural Gas). The lively and interesting discussion touched on topics relating to further incomplete deregulation of prices for buyers having obligations towards the public service. Its implementation is expected in April 2018, whereas the price households will be paying for natural gas is still unknown, hence it would be beneficial that it be published by the end of this year so that businesses may prepare on time.

32nd International Scientific and Expert Meeting of Gas Professionals© HSUP32nd Meeting of Gas Professionals - the exhibition


D.Sc. Nikola Vištica (director of the Sector for Gas and Oil at the Croatian Energy Regulatory Agency – HERA) said that it is not necessary to hurry into that process which needs to be well organised in order that all stakeholders may prepare well and on time. In the discussion, Marko Blažević emphasised that HEP – Opskrba plinom as of April 1, 2017 by decision of the Croatian Government purchases under market and sells under market regulated conditions, which is not a simple task for companies that are suppliers on the wholesale market. This has given some opportunity to INA’s business, noted the director of INA’s Department for Trading Natural Gas, Damir Škugor, who added that the price of gas should definitely incorporate the costs of exploration, preparing the exploitation field and production. Srećko Ezgeta (director of the Bjelovar company Elektrometal – distribucija plina and president of the Group of Gas Distributors and Suppliers in the Croatian Chamber of Economics, noted that the prices of all energy sources have been deregulated, except gas for households. He also included that a decision has to be made as to how to balance the transport system and invest into smart metering solutions. He cautioned that it is not possible to simultaneously want such investments and lower gas prices, as it is unrealistic, hence such investments should be planned into distribution tariffs. In concluding, the unifying view is that the main goal of market liberalisation is strengthening competition, transparency and avoiding any form of discrimination.


Liberalisation of the gas market in Europe began back in 1998. An overview of supplementary additions and the passing of new directives including repercussions for development of the gas market was given by Marcel Kramer (president of the Energy Delta Institute from the Netherlands). The topic was further treated by Attila Török (Central European Gas Hub AG, Austria) who addressed the latest developments in gas trading in Central and Eastern Europe and the role of the gas hub in Austria. This was followed by a series of presentations given by Zagreb City Gasworks. Dubravko Duvančić pointed out the importance of testing gas installations as a legal obligation of the distribution system operators and cautioned of the lack of logic that responsibility for correctly functioning devices, i.e. gas installations is not borne by owner but instead by the distribution system operator, which for other energy providers is not the case. The issue of safety and correctly operating gas networks was explained in the presentation that pointed out the procedure of impact odorisation on the Zagreb City Gasworks’ distribution region, and the following presentation showed the importance of testing for leaks in the gas distribution system as preventive and corrective maintenance of the gas networks operating at different pressures. The roundtable discussion led by the company Gdi Gisdata gave practical examples of comprehensive technical support in managing parameter data for a gas system using GIS technology at the company Zelina-plin d.o.o. The company Met Croatia Energy Trade d.o.o. showed its approach to the market and the specifics of business providing offers to buyers, and in terms of risk management when indexing product prices.


The roundtable discussion by the company Duing presented its subsidiary company MTU Onsite Energy Gas Power Systems for sustainable energy solutions in the production of electricity and thermal energy, as well as for the servicing of gas cogeneration with the emphasis on offers for the Croatian market. This was followed by presenting a technology for using gas in electricity production based on waste from the Jakuševac waste depot in Zagreb. Dr Berislav Pavlović (Zagreb City Gasworks) explained the impact of operating pressures on the characteristics of turbine flow meters based on testing methods when configuring test installations for closed and open systems.

32nd International Scientific and Expert Meeting of Gas Professionals© HSUP32nd Meeting of Gas Professionals - the exhibition

At the end of the series of topics, the latest indicators of advancements in construction of gas infrastructure in Dalmatia was shown, and also the contentious issues in constructing the gas pipeline from Dugopolje to Solin (Split) with respect to archaeological findings that stand in the way of rapidly achieving the project. However, thanks to investments totalling more than 170 million kuna by the company EVN and the determination of its employees that everything be done in accordance with the law and good engineering practices, results will surely be evident. In such terms, design engineer Jakov Bakić presented in the last talk the specifics and examples of good practice in constructing gas infrastructure in the services industry and sector on route from Zadar to Split, as well as an overview of the contentious issues in preparing design and detailed construction documentation.


The last topic began with a presentation of smart system technologies for reducing gas leakages from distributive networks applied by the company Pietro Fiorentini under “EU Life Projects”. Use of laser spectroscopy in testing gas leakages from distribution networks is a new method by the company Termoplin d.d. Varaždin which allows for very quick and effective monitoring of gas installations. Its safety is explained based on experience from Germany where all actors in the gas chain are obligated to apply technical rules DVGW G 1020. A final overview was given of European and Croatian legislation and topics related to consumer rights under conditions of a fully liberalised gas market. It primarily involves the right to choose and change one’s gas supplier and clear information when entering contracts and charging for gas consumption.

As was the case in previous years, due to a large number of registered papers, this year too a poster session was organised where a total of 10 papers from Croatia and abroad were registered and presented.

At the same time, the largest three-day exhibition of gas equipment in South-Eastern Europe was shown at the exhibition premises in front of the congress hall of the Grand Hotel Adriatic where a total of 47 exhibitors displayed their offers on stands and billboards, of which 14 exhibitors were from abroad.

Participating at this year’s exhibition was the largest number of producers and representatives of gas equipment. Amongst there were a significant number of companies who have over a number of years been actively involved as exhibitors at the Opatija Meeting of Gas Experts, and also a large number of new exhibitors of gas equipment from Croatia and abroad, which indicates a continual growth of interest in exhibiting at the gas technology and equipment exhibition in Opatija.

32nd International Scientific and Expert Meeting of Gas Professionals© HSUP32nd Meeting of Gas Professionals - the exhibition

At the end of this year’s conference, Anita Baričević (director of Croatian Gas Center Ltd.,), extended her appreciation to all participants at the conference and exhibition which through their participation had contributed to the success and quality of this traditional meeting which is important for the gas industry, and which this year has succeeded in gathering in Opatija a great number of experts and maintain a high professional level and quality despite dynamic changes in the structure of the energy market and complex economic situation. Special thanks was also extended to Prof Dr Miljenko Šunić (president of the Croatian Gas Association), as the most deserved expert who through his knowledge, commitment, professional authority and great enthusiasm has been devising and for more than three decades been creating interesting and useful programs for the International Meeting of Gas Experts in Opatija, and as such has contributed to the development of the gas industry in the Republic of Croatia.

At the very end of the conference, an announcement was made for the holding of the next 33rd International Scientific & Expert Meeting of Gas Professionals, which will be held as is tradition in Opatija on May 9-11, 2018.

If you were not able to attend the 32nd Meeting, but are interested in the presented topics, you can order the Proceedings (in print and online version) which include all the published papers and roundtable presentations of the Meeting in Opatija. We kindly request that you send your order via email to


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