JANAF's 7th International Energy Conference brings together experts and representatives of the energy sector's leading companies

18.04.2024. 17:58

Zagreb – The accelerated implementation of EU energy supply security politics, the diversification of energy sources and the acceleration of the green transition which includes an increase in the degree of energy efficiency – these are all necessary business steps that companies in the energy sector must undertake in the coming period, as concluded at the 7th International Energy Conference organised by Jadranski naftovod Plc on 18 April 2024 in Zagreb. The conference, entitled ''New Energy Paradigm of the EU: Are We Ready for Changes?'', gathered leading European oil and energy experts and representatives of the Company's business partners with the aim of exchaging information and experiences related to the current challenges in the energy and oil market.

The conference included presentations on the challenges currently present in the European energy and oil market and the energy transition of global oil companies, as well as a panel discussion covering the implementation of the European Green Plan and the development of projects relating to renewable energy sources. In addition to the working part, the conference also included a formal celebration of the 50th anniversary of JANAF's founding and the 45th anniversary of the pipeline's deployment.

In his welcome speech, the Chairman of the Board Stjepan Adanić, MSc. said: ''During its 50-year long history, JANAF has become an indispensable factor in the energy stability both of the Republic of Croatia and neighboring countries. The construction of pipeline sections and terminals contributed to the economic development of local communities along the pipeline route, as it boosted employment and social activities. Today, JANAF remains important for the Croatian economy and the local community,  especially considering its stability and role of the strategic oil pipeline for the European Union and this part of Europe. The Company has already proved its resilience and adaptability, and now we are facing one of the biggest challenges in our history – the diversification of our business into renewable energy sources. It is all the more pleasing, therefore, that this conference is dedicated precisely to the coming green transition of the entire energy sector.''

Zrinka Ujević, Head of the European Commission Representation in Croatia, also addressed the attendees: ''Throughout its current mandate, the European Union has faced numerous challenges, including the energy crisis caused by the Russian aggression against Ukraine. However, owing to the RePower EU plan, we have protected both citizens and companies from energy shortages, decreased dependence on Russian fossil fuels, saved almost 20% of energy consumption and expedited the transition towards renewable energy sources. The aim of our European Green Plan is to make Europe climate-neutral by 2050. The transition to clean and renewable energy sources is not just an option, but a necessity in the fight against climate change. This is why we strongly support the research and development of clean energy technology, encourage innovation and the decrease of expenses in order to make renewable energy more accessible for everyone. At the same time, it is clear that the transition cannot occur in an instant, and that fossil fuels are necessary in the mid-term. Our long-term vision for the future is that of renewable and clean energy which powers our economy, but also protects the planet for future generations.''

Damir Habijan, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, was also present at the conference. The Minister pointed out the following: ''The Republic of Croatia is strongly committed to green EU politics. A large number of ongoing projects are dedicated to the strengthening of the energy infrastructure, but we haven't forgotten supply safety, either. JANAF played a crucial role in this regard by assuring, together with partners from Hungary, Slowakia and the Czech Republic, the construction of a pipeline from Omišalj all the way to refineries in Hungary and Slovenia. At the same time, JANAF ensured the supply route towards Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina and emerged as a regional factor in the oil supply safety of South East Europe. Croatia has proved to be a reliable partner and has ensured supply safety for its neighbors. We have communicated that we are ready to do even more, should the need arise, and this is precisely what JANAF has pointed out in all their communications, both with neighboring countries and with the European Commission. Croatia is ready for changes, bearing in mind that the transition from fossil fuels to pure energy cannot happen overnight.''

At the focus of this annual international conference was the panel discussion ''Zero Carbon 2050: Truth or Myth?'', whose key premise was the necessity of transitioning to renewable energy sources. Participants of the panel discussion – Zsuzsanna Ortutay, President of the INA Management Board, Gordan Kolak, President of the Končar Management Board, Maciej Romanów, Board Member at ORLEN Unipetrol, Nela Vlahinić, President and co-founder of XEnergy and Vladislav Veselica, Member of the Board at JANAF – agreed that the diversification of energy sources and the gradual transition towards renewable energy sources weren't mere trends, but necessities that should be implemented by all companies in the energy sector. JANAF Board Member Vladislav Veselica also pointed out that this year would be crucial in terms of the company's transformation and diversification of its business towards renewable energy sources, disclosing that JANAF would soon announce its first acquisitions related to renewable energy sources.

The conference brought together almost 250 participants, including leading European oil and energy experts, JANAF's business partners, representatives of energy companies, the academic community, the professional public and the Diplomatic Corps.