A Short History of the Project
Following the discovery and the confirmation of proved quantities of natural gas in the Northern Adriatic gas deposits about 40 km southwest from Pula, projects comprising the exploitation of deposits and installation of gas system in the territory of Istria and Kvarner were developed in the 1980s. Unfortunately, due primarily to a lack of financial means and technical possibilities of excerpting gas from shallow deposits, these projects were never realized.
Encouraged by the awareness of failed attempts of the realization of the project in the previous period and demands and needs of households and economy in the territory of the Istrian Region for the use of this fuel, the Government of the Istrian Region in 1997, having the agreement of towns, announced the international Public Invitation for the construction of a gas distribution system and the concession for the activity of gas supply in towns and municipalities: Buje, Buzet, Labin, Novigrad, Pazin, Poreč, Pula, Rovinj, Umag and Vrsar. Aimed at breaking the vicious circle "there is no gas because there are no users-there are no users because there is no gas", the Public Invitation demanded that future concessionaires should construct distribution networks for the first installation and the belonging plants and perform gas supply in the period of the next 30 years (concession). Substitution gas was supposed to be the fuel (evaporated propane-butane + air) because the supply of natural gas implies that there is no need of performing any technical alterations of the system and appliances.
Shortly afterwards, Ina and Agip founded a joint venture company Inagip launching their activities in the realization of the projects of exploitation of Northern Adriatic gas deposits with a possibility of transporting gas to the mainland, meaning Pula. At the same time, the well-known GEA project was made (Gas Energy Adria) meant to connect the Italian high-pressure system (near Ravenna) with the Croatian system - gas pipeline Casal Borsetti - Pula - Karlovac, which made the original idea of connecting the exploitation field Ivana with Pula obsolete. With the announcements for an alternative system, there was various information regarding the project of installation of gas system, so that the option with substitute gas (evaporated propane-butane + air) which was to be used in the contest was called Alternative I, and the other option according to which natural gas would be used along with the substitute gas was called Alternative II. According to Alternative II, areas along the western coast of Istria would use natural gas, which implies that the project now includes the construction of the main VT gas pipeline from Pula to Umag. In 2001, with the help of the Ministry for European Integrations, the Preliminary Plan was made for the main gas pipeline Pula - Umag. The planned gas pipeline implied the possibility of being supplied on both ends. Along with capacities and quantities needed for households and economy; it comprises the planned quantities for the transformation of fuel into electric energy. The term "energy transformation" denotes smaller units installed near the main gas pipeline that would work several hours a day and cover only peak needs for electric energy.
In the meantime, Ina gave up the GEA project (with the planned capacity of 5,5 billion m3/year), and launched the project "Little GEA", gas pipeline connecting the platform Ivana K with Pula continuing to Karlovac. The planned capacity of gas pipeline was 1,5 billion m3/year. In comparison, the forecast of the consumption of natural gas in the Istrian Region (without big users) is 73 mil.m3/year.