One of the largest international gas conferences and exhibitions in the region of Central and Southeast Europe from 9 – 11 May in Opatija is expecting the participation of 600 gas and energy experts, which includes representatives from about 240 companies and organisations, 60 or so renowned speakers and more than 40 exhibitors from 20 countries in Europe, the USA and Iran. The influential group from the gas profession will cover a series of topics important for the gas and energy industry which traverse the entire chain of natural gas as well as key challenges which will determine the development of the natural gas market in the near future.

Associate Professor Dalibor Pudić, PhD, President of the Croatian Gas Association (HSUP) in his introductory talk will point out that in adopting the energy strategy and to achieve the global objective of achieving a low-carbon economy, it is very important that each country activate its specific available resources with the aim of developing its national economy as well as ensuring support for the population and local communities through implementation of energy projects. The author will elaborate on the importance and role of natural gas, which as a green fuel is a key transition energy for the 21st century.

In the first topic of the conference (invitational talks) titled “Efficient Gas Technologies and Energy Strategies for a Competitive Economy – Today and in the Future”, Prof Igor Dekanić, PhD, from the Faculty of Mining, Geology and Petroleum in Zagreb, will talk about the fundamentals of the energy strategy in changing conditions on energy markets and the need for developing a competitive economy, explain the role of energy policies in change to energy prices and a more competitive economy and also highlight the role of gas as a bridge towards a low-carbon energy mix in the coming future.

Albert van den Noort, senior advisor from the company DNV GL from the Netherlands, will present the contributions of new, efficient gas technologies for storing electrical energy, such as Power-to-Gas to a cost-effective energy transition and competitive economy. Stevo Kolundžić, PhD, and Prof Miljenko Šunić, PhD, from the Croatian Gas Association will consider in their work, the possibility of large investments in implementing the energy strategy and low-carbon strategy, especially in the energy industry, and the opportunities for encouraging an economy transformation. This will be followed by an interesting panel discussion on the same topic along with the participation of representatives from the Ministry of Environment and Energy.

A few interesting presentations will show how the introduction of smart technologies by gas and energy companies achieves lower operational costs, increases safety and better quality of services, thereby achieving a competitive advantage on the market. Experts from the company Plinacro will present activities relating to the construction of the new main Zlobin – Omišalj pipeline as well as the project for constructing the compressor station on the transport system of the Republic of Croatia. Leading experts from the company LNG Croatia will present the current phase of the LNG terminal project on the island of Krk and its role in developing new industries in the Croatian economy.

Presentations by a number of speakers will explain why the Southern Corridor, the LNG terminal, interconnections with its surroundings and stable domestic production are the basis for future gas supply. Antonija Glavaš, member of the Management Board at Prvo plinarsko društvo, will provide an introductory talk which will announce the path towards complete deregulation of prices followed by more significant changes on the market which will lead to the consolidation of numerous companies. Following a number of presentations will be an interesting panel discussion on the topic “Issues Involving the Supply of Gas on Liberalized Market” in which representatives of manufacturers, gas suppliers and distributers as well as those from Croatian Energy Regulatory Agency (HERA) will participate.

The gathering will also present papers from numerous experts on the topic of regular and emergency maintenance of the gas distribution and transport system, routing and other issues in the gas industry. This will be followed by a series of presentations on the development, potential and challenges in using gas in transport as well as an interesting panel discussion with participation from manufacturers of natural gas vehicles, manufacturers of natural gas filling stations for vehicles, representatives from the Ministry of Sea, Transport and Infrastructure of the Republic of Croatia as well as the Croatian Chamber of Economy.

News on technical regulations and rules of the profession for safe and effective use of gas and its application in practice as well as the effects on gas consumer rights will be an important topic in the coming gathering. Besides the oral presentations of scientific and professional papers as well as technical and commercial presentations by particular companies, a poster session will also be presented which will exhibit the works of numerous experts from various fields of the energy profession.

The conference is included in the Professional Training Program of the Croatian Gas Association (HSUP) and ensures about 20 hours of professional training on the topic of gas, energy, fundamentals of technical regulations and thermo-engineering systems and facilities.

At the same time, the Exhibition on Gas Equipment and Technologies will be held where more than 40 domestic and foreign exhibitors will present advanced technological solutions for the gas and energy industry. Networking, targeted topical units and renowned speakers are features at the gathering which combines science, education, the profession and businesses that actively participate in the gas industry.