Workshop for HOPS representatives to ensure successful implementation of the HRK 1.6bn EU project


Employees of the Fund’s Intermediate Body level 2 held an educational workshop for the representatives of the Croatian Transmission System Operator Plc. – HOPS d.d., who were granted more than 1.6 billion kunas under the National Resilience and Recovery Plan for the construction, digitalisation, and modernisation of the Croatian electric power transmission grid. 

By a direct invitation from the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development in July this year, the Croatian Transmission System Operator – HOPS was granted funding under the National Resilience and Recovery Plan (NRRP). NRRP stipulates an important role for the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund as the implementing body responsible for the process of selection and monitoring of the project, whose completion is expected in 2026.

The workshop was held by the Fund’s employees: Sanja Jelačić, the head of the Intermediate Body,  Brigita Crnković from the Department for procurement control, Predrag Čuljak from the Department for the technical verification of energy efficiency projects, Bojan Hlača from the Department for project selection, Maša Brezovac from the Department for system control, and Slavica Lulić from the Department for financial and economic verification.

The aim was to familiarise the representatives of HOPS with the process of project implementation.  They had practical training and examples of assistance in the implementation process to avoid irregularities and mistakes that could result in the financial corrections. Together with the Fund’s staff they went through the first steps after signing the contract, the templates for conducting procurement, procurement plans, payment request plan, and ex-ante or ex-post procurement verification. The representatives of the Beneficiary were also guided through financial planning and justifying expenditures, reporting and cost monitoring, accounting project management, transparent justification of expenditures, advance payment procedure and requests for payment procedures, as well as the possibility for potential amendments to the contract. Other implementation obligations and risks were also mentioned, the importance of proper documentation storage, and the rules of visibility and verification. Attendees actively participated in the workshop and expressed interest in future cooperation to eliminate potential uncertainties and irregularities.

The project envisages speeding up of the development of the grid by strengthening the transmission capacities of the existing electric power transmission system (especially in the north – south running transmission line) revitalising and digitalising the grid and build the new transmission capacities. This will ensure uninterrupted supply of electricity into the system that will no longer be a bottleneck, resulting in stronger decarbonisation of the energy sector. With this investment it is planned to upgrade, digitalise, and extend the transmission system that will be able to receive the growing quantities of electricity from renewable energy sources at national level. The implementation of the project will help in the decarbonisation of the energy sector, which is the main precondition for achieving the 2030 goal of 36.6% regarding renewable energy sources in the gross consumption.