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.
Preservation of cultural heritage – The clearing of the gas pipeline route during the construction of the LNG terminal revealed dry stone structures, an old stone bridge and drystone cattle shelters that represent the material remains of the traditional economic use of space. Upon the completion of the construction on the route of the gas pipeline, the drystone structures were returned to their original state by the traditional method of dry tone construction, i.e. by using the deposited material to the extent that the situation of the constructed infrastructure allows. In order to preserve the dry tone cattle shelters, the route of the planned gas pipeline has been relocated in that segment, while during the execution of works measures to protect them from possible damage from vibrations caused by works and movement of machines during excavation and pipeline installation were ensured. By changing the route of the gas pipeline, the ethnological finding was bypassed at a minimum distance and the careful excavation of the trench reduced the impact to a minimum.
Cooling of the sea – LNG regasification is performed through heat exchangers by injection 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 converted from to a gaseous aggregate state. By using this process of heat exchange between two systems, using glycol as an intermediate fluid, the direct contact of LNG and seawater is avoided, thus minimizing the effect on the cooling of the sea. In the most unfavourable 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 within the system. 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 in the system. Smaller amounts of foam may occur after the seawater discharge when mixing the discharged water with the surrounding seawater until an equilibrium state is reached. The phenomenon of sea foaming is a natural phenomenon that occurs due to natural processes of rapid mixing of sea water with an increased amount of organic substances in the sea due to the production and decomposition of phytoplankton. The same happens when using vessels with outboard engines, when the waves hit the shore, where, as in the area of the LNG Terminal, the decomposition of the foam occurs naturally.
Electrochlorination (separation of chlorine from the sea) – Globally, in accordance with technical standards, during the operation LNG terminals use electrochlorination (separation of chlorine from the sea) without negative environmental impacts. With aim of respecting the local community’s opinion to not accept use of chlorine from seawater during the LNG regasification process, on LNG terminal Krk electrochlorination process is not used. The terminal is operating 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 sulphur 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. LNG carriers which arrive to the terminal as well as tugboats, if they are not using natural gas as fuel, according to Croatian regulations from 1 January 2020 they must use fuel with up to 0.5% sulphur in Croatian territorial waters, while the vessels that are moored at the terminal must use fuel with sulphur content of up to 0.1%. According to the results of the calculation which took into account the most unfavourable conditions, even in the most unfavourable mode of operation of the LNG 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 analysed at reference points of permanently populated objects closest to the LNG terminal. At reference points, measurements of imission noise levels in the environment were carried out during the trial operation and regular operation of the LNG terminal. Environmental noise measurement reports have determined that the noise level caused by a permanent noise source (FSRU vessel) at the LNG terminal complies with the set acoustic requirements during regular operation, for day and night conditions, and that it does not exceed the permitted levels prescribed by the Decision on the acceptability to the environment, at any of the measuring points.