The Environmental Impact Assessment procedure was completed on 11 April 2018 when the Ministry of Environment and Energy issued a Decision on Environmental Acceptability with implementation of the prescribed environmental protection measures. The Decision on Environmental Acceptability determined the environmental protection measures during the planning, construction and use i.e. during the operation of the LNG terminal. Key environmental measures are related to air, water and sea protection, noise protection, land and marine habitat protection and waste management.
Cooling of the sea – During regasification of LNG, the FSRU vessel will operate in a so-called open loop system. In regasification units, LNG regasification is done through heat exchangers by intake of seawater, which transfers the heat to glycol as an intermediate fluid, and then returns back to the sea. In the further process, glycol, as an intermediate fluid, transfers heat to the LNG, which is regasified i.e converted from liquified to a gaseous state. By using this process of heat exchange between two systems, the direct contact of LNG and seawater is avoided by using glycol as an intermediate fluid, thus minimizing the effect on the cooling of the sea. In the most unfavorable mode of operation of the terminal at a distance of 200 meters from the FSRU vessel the difference in seawater temperature may be maximum 1°C, while at a distance of 400 meters from the FSRU vessel the difference in seawater temperature is not measurable.
Foam formation - FSRU vessel under water surface intakes and discharges seawater which is used for LNG regasification. The FSRU vessel's seawater intake and discharge system is designed to prevent foam formation. The seawater, which transfers heat to glycol in the regasification units, is contained within titanium tubes throughout the whole process without the possibility of mixing with air, which prevents the formation of foam and the impact of foam formation on the life in the sea and tourism.
Electrochlorination (separation of chlorine from the sea) - Although in accordance with technical standards, LNG terminals (both onshore and floating terminals which operate in open loop system) use electrochlorination (separation of chlorine from the sea) without negative environmental impacts, with an aim of respecting the local community's opinion to not accept use of chlorine from seawater during the LNG regasification process, i.e. during seawater intake and discharge, no electrochlorination will be used to prevent marine growth of the seawater system, and the terminal will operate on the principle of mechanical cleaning of the entire system as part of the regular annual maintenance of the FSRU.
Air quality - FSRU vessel uses natural gas as the main fuel, and diesel with sulfur content of less than 0.1% m/m only as auxiliary fuel. FSRU vessel emissions meet the limit values for Class III (Tier III) of annex VI of the MARPOL Convention. Vessels carrying LNG to the terminal as well as tugboats, if they will not use natural gas as fuel, according to Croatian regulations after 1 January 2020, they must use fuel with up to 0.5% sulfur in Croatian territorial waters, while the vessels that will be moored at the terminal must use fuel with sulfur content of up to 0.1%. According to the results of the calculation which took into account the most unfavorable conditions, even in the most unfavorable mode of operation of the terminal there will be no decrease in air quality in the area of Omišalj or in the area of Njivice, which settlements are closest to the LNG terminal.
Noise - The effect of noise from the LNG terminal was analyzed at reference points of permanently populated objects closest to the LNG terminal. At the reference points, residual noise levels were measured outside the summer season, since during summer season environmental noise level is increased due to increased traffic related to tourism. According to the results of the calculation, which took into account the most unfavorable conditions, with the wind in the direction of noise spreading towards each of the reference points and the continuous operation of the LNG terminal at maximum installed capacity, it was determined that the noise levels would be below the prescribed permissible levels.