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Deputy Director General of the Energy Administration Jože Dimnik at a conference in Zagreb

Opportunities for joint energy projects of Slovenia and Croatia were discussed in Zagreb on 6 December at a high-profile investors' conference, organised by the European Commission's representation offices in the two countries. Projects that can receive EU backing were of particular interest.

The drainage system of the Sava river from the last Slovenian hydro power plant on, a power transmission line between Slovenia and Hungary, and Croatia's planned liquefied gas terminal were identified as possible projects where Slovenia and Croatia could cooperate as part of the European Commission's energy plan.

According to Deputy Director General of the Energy Administration at the Slovenian Infrastructure Ministry, Jože Dimnik, the drainage system of the lower Sava river was worth over EUR 1bn on the Slovenian side alone, while a movable transmission line towards Hungary would cost dozens of millions of euros. Dimnik also held informal talks with Croatian electricity distributors, who said that political disputes could not affect cross-border cooperation.

The conference also highlighted successful Slovenia-Croatia projects from the past, including renovation of cultural heritage to make buildings more energy efficient and the possibility of a joint project regarding public street lighting in towns on both sides of the border.

The European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica noted that the funding as part of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), envisaging some EUR 500bn for strategic investment, particularity in energy, is expected to be extended.

Representatives of investors such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) also attended the conference, expressing readiness to financially support projects involving cross-border cooperation.