Croatia draws 7 bids for LNG terminal on Krk

SARAJEVO, Jan 4 (Reuters) - Croatia has received seven bids to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal on the island of Krk in the northern Adriatic, LNG Croatia said on Monday.

EU member Croatia is looking to reduce its reliance on Russian gas imports.

The proposed terminal would be able to receive, store and re-gasify LNG, opening Croatia up to imports from LNG suppliers such as Qatar.

The project, with a nominal capacity of 6 billion cubic metres, is expected to require investment of around 600 million euros ($655.50 million).

LNG Croatia, a joint venture between power utility HEP and gas system operator Plinacro, said it had received four bids from industrial investors and three from financial investors for the project, which it aims to complete by mid-2019.

“All potential investors are world-class companies/funds with strong backgrounds in gas industry and financial businesses,” the company said in a statement.

“The evaluation process by legal and financial advisers and technical experts begins,” it said, without naming the bidders.

The Croatian government in July declared the project to be of strategic interest, which should simplify procedures for obtaining location and construction permits.

$1 = 0.9153 euros Reporting by Maja Zuvela; editing by Jason Neely