Danish State Visit to Croatia

Zagreb, 21 - 24 October 2014

Environmental technologies

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.

Water and Wastewater Projects

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 approved.
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.

Opportunities for Danish companies (consultants and suppliers of technology):

  • Public water supply projects
  • Water quality maintenance and monitoring (e.g. removal of excessive amount of arsenic in drinking water in some areas)
  • Upgrade of wastewater treatment facilities
  • On-going Adriatic Project (Coastal Cities Pollution Control) – upgrading of municipal sewage systems and wastewater treatment facilities on the coast with expected completion in 2020 (cost of the current 2nd phase is EUR 125 million
  • Drinking water solutions for the islands (e.g. mapping of underground water sources, treatment of brackish water)
  • Floods monitoring and protection solutions

Waste Management Projects

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.

Opportunities for Danish companies (consultants and suppliers of technology):

  • Waste management centre Zagreb – estimated at EUR 450 million
  • Waste management centres on the county and regional levels – estimated at EUR 3.5 billion
  • Rehabilitation of old landfills – out of 299 officially existing landfills, 107 have already been rehabilitated. The approximate cost of rehabilitation of the remaining 192 is EUR 150 million
  • Rehabilitation of “black spots”, high risk hazardous waste locations, started in 2007. The estimated investments required for the overall rehabilitation projects is EUR 106 million
  • Hazardous waste centre/incinerator

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.