Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: The Balkan state is planning major investments in hydropower, solar and wind.

Croatian power company HEP is planning major investments for the construction and modernization of hydropower plants. Solar and wind energy are within the focus of the development plans as well. HEP is preparing one of the largest projects in the Croatian energy sector, concerning the extension of the hydropower complex HES Kosinj and the construction of the associated new hydropower plant HE Senj-2. The expansion plans include the construction of three dams, a tunnel, the Bakovac-Lika canal and the HE Kosinj hydroelectric power station as well as the modernization of the HE Sklope power plant. The new hydropower plants will have a total output of 412 megawatts. Currently, the complex has a capacity of 238.5 megawatts (HE Sklope: 22.5 and HE Senj: 216).

The start of construction of a solar power plant on the Adriatic island of Cres in June 2018 initiated the investment cycle in the renewable energy sector. The Orlec Trinket plant will be built on an area of 17 hectares and will have a capacity of 6.5 megawatts. The expected electricity production should amount to 8.5 million kilowatt hours per year.

In the conventional energy sector, HEP is about to begin modernizing a power and district heating plant in Zagreb (KKE EL-TO Zagreb). The plan is to build a new gas-fired block with output of 150 megawatts of electricity and 114 megawatts of heat. The contract (for engineering, procurements and construction) and the long-term service agreement have been signed by HEP with the Italian company FATA SpA. (Danieli Group), which was the successful bidder in an international tender process.

Exports from Wisconsin to Croatia amounted to just under $5 million through October 2018. This is up from $2.1 million in all of 2016 and $3.4 million in 2017.

Croatia’s power sector improvement contracts will be awarded through international tenders, most likely separated into one for a construction work phase and one for the engineering phase of each project. Wisconsin companies should keep an eye out for the call for tenders, expected in mid-2019. Croatia is dependent on imports of construction materials, as well as machinery and machinery parts and supply for the expansion of power transmission structures.

Attending trade shows can provide opportunities to get to know the market and meet potential partners. As Croatia is a small market, related trade fairs often take place in neighboring countries—for example, the Enex Trade Fair taking place Feb. 27-March 1 in Poland, for conventional and renewable energy, and E-World Energy, taking place in Germany Feb. 5-7.