Croatia’s EU accession in July 2013 has increased attention on the environmental sector and is providing a unique window of opportunity for Danish companies to offer specialized equipment and services and position themselves for long-term access to the country’s environmental market. According to some estimates, the total environmental investments aimed at reaching the average EU standards for water, air and waste sectors will amount to at least EUR 1.5 to EUR 2.1 thousand per capita, totalling about EUR 7.6 - 8 billion. Most of the costs will be related to water protection and waste disposal.
As of the date of its accession to the European Union available funds for the water sector will be several times higher than those available from pre-accession funds (IPA). According to the prepared draft financial package for Croatia, grants available for water management in the period 2012-2013 amount to app. EUR 330 million. Hrvatske vode (National water management agency) has already prepared a draft indicative list with 39 projects. Applications are submitted for those projects through which Croatia harmonizes its legislation with the acquis communautaire, i.e. through which the commitments from the Accession Treaty related to the Urban Wastewater Treatment, Drinking Water and Water Framework Directives are fulfilled.
For all the projects from the indicative list Hrvatske
vode has provided 100% co-financing for
the preparation of studies and designs.
Estimates suggest that app. EUR 29 million
has been provided for preparing projects
ready for EU application. The documents
prepared in this way enable the
construction (of water utility structures) in
the total value of app. EUR 1.1 billion.
The Operation „Development of EU
Structural Funds Project Pipeline for protecting
Croatia’s water resources through
improved water supplies and integrated
wastewater management systems” in the
total value of EUR 7.4 million has been
The purpose of the Operation is to prepare the documents required for making new project applications related to the establishment of modern water supply systems and wastewater treatment plants and sewerage systems.
The 16 new projects for which documents are prepared and financed under this Operation will have a chance to apply for EU co-financing for the construction of municipal infrastructure.
Significant needs for investment in the waste sector have been recognized in order for Croatia to meet the requirements of the environmental acquis (Landfill Directive). This will include construction of waste management centres on the county and regional levels (so far 2 have been constructed and are in different phases of development; by the year 2020 3 regional and 10-14 county centres are planned), rehabilitation of landfills and “black spots”. As a transition period was granted in the Accession Treaty until end of 2018 this area should be one of the top priorities.
In addition to funds provided by local counties, the Croatian Fund for Environmental Protection & Energy Efficiency (www.fzoeu.hr), World Bank, (www.worldbank.hr) and European Bank for Reconstruction & Development (www.ebrd.com) environmental sector projects have been significantly funded by the EU Pre-Accession Assistance Fund IPA. In the period 2007-2013, total IPA allocations reached EUR 136 million. In the period from July 2013 to the end of 2015, approximately EUR 150 million will be available from EU cohesion and structural funds for environmental sector infrastructure project.
The City of Zagreb has planned a first Waste-to-Energy incineration plant in the country which should, along with the planned mechanical and biological waste treatment plants, considerably contribute in resolving waste management issue in Croatia.