Sector: CNG

32nd Meeting of Gas Professionals summarised

The 32nd International Scientific and Expert Meeting of Gas Professionals along with an extensive exhibition of gas equipment and technology was successfully held on May 3-5, 2017 in Opatija, Croatia. Read an extensive report below!
32nd International Scientific and Expert Meeting of Gas Professionals© HSUP32nd Meeting of Gas Professionals - the conference

During three days, the largest international gas conference and exhibition in South-Eastern Europe gathered more than 600 participants from 20 countries in Europe and throughout the world. The gathering was attended by gas and energy experts, managers from leading European energy companies, scientists from reputable Croatian and European universities, representatives from gas transporters, suppliers, producers and distributors, as well as representatives from large industrial gas consumers including producers and representatives of gas equipment from Croatia and from abroad. A total of 240 various gas and energy businesses and organisations (of which 95 from abroad) and 47 exhibitors of equipment (of which 95 from abroad). The gathering was covered by 15 journalists from 10 media outlets.

The main sponsor of the Meeting was the Ministry of Environment and Energy of the Republic of Croatia, and organisation of the event was supported by the perennial and main partner for this conference and exhibition, specifically the company Siemens d.d. including numerous other sponsors: INA – Industrija nafte d.d., Prvo plinarsko društvo d.o.o., Plinacro d.o.o., MET Croatia Energy Trade d.o.o., MEĐIMURJE-PLIN za opskrbu plinom d.o.o., Powernext SA, Hrvatska elektroprivreda d.d., SC Eurogas Systems Ltd., IP Systems Ltd., and the co-organiser was the company Podzemno skladište plina d.o.o.
During the three days of holding the expert event, a total of 48 scientific and expert papers were presented, of which 4 were invited presentations and 10 papers in the poster session, and which was accompanied by 6 roundtable presentations covering 8 topics.

The president of the Croatian Gas Association, Prof Dr Miljenko Šuni, at the opening at the gathering emphasised the important and essential role of natural gas in future strategic documents for our country as the cleanest fossil fuel in the transition towards renewable energy sources.

Introductory talks to the gathering were given by Mladen Fogec, President of the Siemens Management Board as the main partner, followed by Tvrtko Perković, chief operations director of the Corporate Centre at the company INA – Industrija nafte d.d., Ivica Arar, President of the Management Board at Plinacro d.o.o., and Pavao Vujnovac, President of the Management Board at the company Prvo plinarsko društvo d.o.o. as the main sponsors. Due to the importance of the project for the gas industry in the Republic of Croatia, a brief talk was also given by Goran Frančić, director of the company LNG Croatia. All those present highlighted in brief talks the intentions behind their corporate business plans for the future.


In the first invitational presentation, Prof Dr Frano Barbir (Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture, University of Split) indicated the role and potential of hydrogen in Europe’s future 2050 low-carbon strategy and foresees up to an 80% reduction in emissions of harmful gases in comparison to the reference year of 1990. He pointed out that the Republic of Croatia, regardless of achieved results, is only at the start of increasing the proportion of renewable energy sources. The future of hydrogen lies in the further technological development of fuel cells in cogeneration for user needs, whereas a large stride forward in practice has been made in the automobile industry and associated infrastructure with an emphasis on Germany as a European leader.

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

In the next presentation, Prof Dr Igor Dekanić (Faculty of Mining, Geology and Petroleum, University of Zagreb) cautioned on the fact that the EU has undertaken a significant turnaround in providing incentives for the user of renewable energy sources (RES) and in the raising an low-carbon awareness as a way of life for people, due to proven pollution of the environment and an increase in greenhouse gas emissions. Given that the EU does not have adequate energy from its own sources, it depends on large imports of fossil fuels, which is an essential element in securing supply and therefore a diversification of supply becomes a priority. With regard to the Republic of Croatia, the economic imperative is a realistic energy strategy where natural gas provides a transitional role.

This was followed by Dr Stevo Kolundžić who said that last year the EU prepared the so-called Fourth Energy Winter Package of Measures obliging all member states to unit their low-carbon energy strategy by 2035 into a single document with a deadline for drafting it by the start of 2019. In view of various projects important for the Republic of Croatia (refinery processing, new peak underground gas storage facility at Grubišno polje, LNG terminal and TAP/IAP connection), he advocates exactly positioning them in the future energy strategy.

The consequences of air pollution in global and national surroundings was addressed by Dr Dalibor Pudić (member of the Governing Council before the Croatian Energy Regulatory Agency). In the Republic of Croatia, wood is one of the dominant sources of thermal energy, primarily due to its favourable price compared to other energy sources. Its harmful effect on the environment and production of greenhouse gases was shown, and also its dangerous effect on human health (respiratory system), especially on the younger population). He also drew a correlation between the low price of wood and the reduction in natural gas consumption in recent times in the Republic of Croatia, and indicated that it has been recovering in the last two years.

A presentation of newer technological solutions was given by the Vaillant company director, Mario Opačak, who gave a talk titled “Expected Global Energy Mix and Decisions on Choosing a Household Heating Technology”. According to data from the European Commission, the largest proportion for thermal needs in the energy mix of 2016 in Europe was gas (46%) followed by coal (15%), biomass (11%), petroleum (10%), nuclear energy (7%) followed by other renewable sources and fossil fuels (4%). This allocation was due primarily to the availability of these energy sources, their prices, impact on the environment, investment costs and time for return on investment. In terms of investments, the greatest expectations of consumers is directed towards energy efficiency and savings.

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

Viessman d.o.o. company director, Vladimir Turina, presented a novelty – microcogeneration based on fuel cells, i.e. “The First Heating Device Based on Fuel Cells as a Comprehensive Integrated Household System”. The device provides up to 36% savings on primary energy, and up to 50% less CO2, significant independency from growing energy prices thanks to utilizing electricity from proprietary production which is also backed by government incentives (Germany) amounting to 11,100 euros.

The previous presentation was the basis for an interesting panel discussion titled “Availability of Gas as a Future Energy Source” which was led by Prof Dr Igor Dekanić (Faculty of Mining, Geology and Petroleum, University of Zagreb) with the participation of panelist Prof Dr Frane Barbir (Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture, University of Split), Dr Stevo Kolundžić (Croatian Gas Association) and Dr Dalibor Pudić (Croatian Energy Regulatory Agency). The conclusion from the discussion is that the Republic of Croatia needs to optimally force its own sources of gas production, and also develop in parallel energy diversification of supply routes (LNG terminal, TAP/IAP connection) and crate conditions for double flow at interconnection points in line with the regulatory framework. Furthermore, emphasis was also placed on the potential of renewable energy sources and natural gas, especially in the region of Dalmatia where there continues to exist a high proportion of liquid fuel and wood as energy sources, hence some prospects for the market are evident.


The stated topic was commenced with a presentation on explaining the role of the Internet in the gas industry in terms of remote monitoring of processes for energy efficiency. This was followed by providing practical possibilities in preserving energy along with articulating problems and solutions for energy storage, whereas the third presentation showed the development of the natural gas industry along with integration of new sources (biogas, LNG, hydrogen) and intelligent technologies aided by smart energy networks. The company Plinacro d.o.o. presented the problem of practical uses of inspecting the internal sections of a gas pipeline by introducing PIM (Pipeline Integrity Management) system and in order to implement control and safety. Finally, Max Hammer explained the technology of the fourth industrial revolution (digital) which energy companies will in the future essentially implement in the business operations.


With respect to the first part of the third topic, emphasis is placed on activities relating to the construction of the compressor station for the transport system belonging to the company Plinacro d.o.o. (ensuring supply for users of a 75-bar ring), i.e. preparatory phase of obtaining the location permit, environmental impact study and commencement of the tender procedure for equipment. The use of gas chromatographs for monitoring gas quality and energy charges on Plinacro’s transport system is shown in detail on the gas system map, with an explanation of the system for technical protection of the gas transport system aided by visual remote control.

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

The latest use of GIS technology in the maintenance and development of the gas transport system is shown using an application which at all times makes timely decisions on management of the gas system and its maintenance. The second part of the topic relates to the LNG in maritime traffic, and commenced with a talk that included a simulation model for determining optimal systems for storing freight on LNG ships and which is based on operational simulations resulting from testing and the experience of the company GTT from France. This was followed by examples from the Netherlands on expanding LNG filling infrastructure for ships at ports, heavy trucks and local distribution. Moreover, emphasis was also placed on the importance of declaring SECAs (Sulphur Emission Control Areas) in seas of northwestern regions of Europe and LNG as an ecologically acceptable fuel replacement. In the talk on the role and place of LNG in maritime traffic for the Republic of Croatia, a description is given of its use which achieved through the construction of the LNG terminal, which might very well encourage the domestic shipbuilding industry leading to the construction of new fleets of vessels for island and coastal transport.


The fourth topic commenced with a talk explaining the technological solution for increasing the hydrocarbon production based on the new investment project “Installation of a Gas Compressor Skid at the Ferfinandovac Oil-Gas Station and for Use of the Gas-Lift System in Oil Production”. The project is to ensure a prolongation of the life cycle of the fields for the next 15-20 years, allowing the delivery of gas at Molva CPS and finally increase revenue for INA d.d. The subsequent presentation explained the position of Ukraine in the process of adapting to European gas regulations and its acceptance. Emphasis is placed on the importance 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.

5. INTRODUCTORY PRESENTATION AND PANEL DISCUSSION: SUPPLY OF GAS UNDER CONDITIONS OF A FULLY LIBERALISED MARKET AND THE CONSOLIDATION OF SUPPLIERS. 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. Ho…

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including pictures from the exhibition!

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