Zagreb – The safety of the European Union's energy supply in the current dynamic geopolitical circumstances is the absolute priority of all key companies on the market, as concluded at JANAF's 6th International Energy & Oil Conference, which was held today, March 15th 2023 in Zagreb. This year's edition of the conference, entitled ''RePowerEU: Current Challenges of European Energy Security'', gathered eminent experts from all the key energy companies in Europe and neighboring countries, including energy and oil companies, regulators and non-governmental organizations, scientists, lecturers, representatives of the academic community and members of the diplomatic corps.
In his welcome speech, the Chairman of the Board Stjepan Adanić, MSc. said: 'A series of significant events has taken place and changed the global circumstances since JANAF's last conference three years ago. The already dynamic energy market has been shaken by strong turbulence, which has proved to be a true readiness test for all the stakeholders in our sector. I can proudly say that our sector has demonstrated resilience and preparedness to adapt throughout all the blows we have been dealt. In a period marked by energy product price volatility and threats to the supply, negative trends in the global financial markets and inflationary pressures, JANAF has maintained the safety of the supply both in terms of Croatia's energy needs and in terms of regional needs within the European Union.'
Ognian Zlatev, Head of the Representation of the European Commission in Croatia, also addressed the attendees: 'This conference is an opportunity to discuss the difficulties and disturbances caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as well as the geopolitical events that subsequently took place and which are related to the energy product supply safety in the entire European Union. Our Green Deal was not jeopardized in any way, and neither was the green goal of making Europe the first climate-neutral continent. Now that a year has passed, we can say that we are independent from Russian energy products. The mutual answer to restrictions imposed on Russia has demonstrated that we can achieve fantastic results through combined efforts. The goal for the future is to continue implementing the European Green Deal, to invest in the green transition and renewable energy sources and to offer support to EU member states through the RePowerEU plan. I believe that the knowledge and experiences exchanged at today's conference will contribute to shared planning and a shared future.'
Davor Filipović, PhD, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, delivered the opening speech, in which he stated: 'Despite the disturbances in the east of the continent and the Russian aggression against Ukraine, our dedication to our goal remains stable, while the activities are accelerated and unfolding according to plan – from the green transition and decarbonization to the uninterrupted supply of energy products to the country and the entire continent. Croatia has become an energy center for this part of Europe, ensuring the supply of energy products for neighboring countries. It is primarily owing to JANAF that we have become a key oil supplier for neighboring countries. The Republic of Croatia has proved to be a good, reliable partner, who will continue to increase its capacities and remain prepared to offer its oil pipeline to all EU member states. This conference is a message to neighboring countries that Croatia can be a good partner and that it is strategically important for the energy supply safety of the entire region. In this segment, it is important to point out JANAF's strategic importance as a part of the Central European energy hub and the company's role in ensuring the EU's energy safety.'
The conference included lectures by Tomislav Gelo, PhD, who reflected on the energy market situation in the context of geopolitics, as well as Adrian Jasimi, who presented the challenges to energy security faced by the Energy Community member states. Eugene Lidell spoke about the current European energy and oil market, with a focus on the balance shift in supply routes, while Damir Vrbić presented the RePowerEU plan's support for JANAF's strategic role in the energy sector of Central Eastern Europe.
The panel discussion, entitled ''Development of Alternative Strategies for Security of Oil Supply'', also drew a lot of interest. The panelists – Dragan Letica (INA), Szabolcs Pal Szabo (MOL), Maciej Romanow (ORLEN Unipetrol), Alessio Lilli (TAL), Eugene Lindell (FGE) and Vladislav Veselica (Board Member, JANAF) – concluded that the European energy market is rapidly adapting to challenges and events such as the pandemic or the war in Ukraine. They also agreed that geopolitical changes and economic upheavals will not affect energy supply security in the future.
The conference was attended, among others, by representatives of INA, MOL, NIS, Vitol, TAL, Transnafta, Transpetrol, the Hydrocarbon Agency, British Petroleum Oil International, Petrol, Socar Trading, E.ON, the Faculty of Economics in Zagreb, the Faculty of Economics in Rijeka, Energy Institute Hrvoje Požar, ENNA, HERA, Končar, Plinacro and other relevant companies and institutions from the field of energetics.