Close this search box.

Eurogas Annual Regional Conference 'Slovenia: Securing gas supply and decarbonisation'

15mar09:3012:15Eurogas Annual Regional Conference 'Slovenia: Securing gas supply and decarbonisation'


(Friday) 09:30 - 12:15 View in my time

Register now

To participate to the conference (in-person only). Registration is free of charge but mandatory.



OpenSpaces Still Available

Event Details

Following a huge response in 2023, it is with great excitement that we announce a new edition of the Eurogas Annual Regional Conference, the event bringing together European and national policymakers and thought leaders to discuss the latest developments and challenges of the gas sector from a regional perspective.

This year the event will shed a light on security of gas supply and the potential of renewable and low carbon gases in the region.
The conference is organised with the kind support of Geoplin, and will be followed by a networking lunch on premises.


09:00 | Registration & coffee

09:30 | Opening speeches
Matija Bitenc, General Manager, Geoplin
Didier Holleaux, President, Eurogas

09:40 | Keynote speeches
Bojan Kumer, Slovenian Minister of the Environment, Climate and Energy
Monika Zsigri, Global demand and international negotiations, DG ENER, European Commission
MEP Franc Bogovič, Member of the European Parliament

10:10 | Panel 1 – Securing gas supply for Slovenia and the region
The panel will address the security of supply in the region.

Clara Poletti, Chair of the Board of Regulators, ACER
Metod Podkrižnik, Member of the Management Board, Petrol
Ivan Fugaš, Director, LNG Hrvatska
Boyana Achovski, Secretary General, Gas Infrastructure Europe


11:00 | Coffee break

11:20 | Panel 2 – A transition towards decarbonisation
This panel will discuss the potential of renewable and low carbon gases in the region in the context of REPowerEU.

Gregor Skender, Energy Attaché, Permanent Representation of Slovenia to the EU
Marko Ileršič, Senior Consultant, Plinovodi
Lea Lavrič, Head of Development, KOTO
Ewa Abramiuk-Lété, General Manager, Liquid Gas Europe


12:05 | Closing remarks
James Watson, Secretary General, Eurogas

12:15 | End of the conference, followed by networking lunch

What else do we have in store for you?
To make your participation even more accessible, we have secured an exclusive discount on your hotel room reservation at BRDO Elegans Hotel. Upon registration, write to to unlock the discount code. Prepare to be surprised by this natural and cultural gem in the Slovenian Alps!

We look forward to welcoming you at #ARCSlovenia24

Speakers for this event

  • Bojan Kumer

    Bojan Kumer

    Slovenian Minister of the Environment, Climate and Energy

    Bojan Kumer, MBA, was born on 30 July 1974 in Slovenj Gradec and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering of the University of Ljubljana.
    He started his career in 2001 at Elektro Celje, where he assumed the management of the purchase and sale of electricity, then became Unit Manager and subsequently Executive Director of Energy Marketing. In his roles, he has been instrumental in increasing efficiency and effectiveness, developing and renewing processes and managing the energy portfolio. In 2009, he joined GEN-I as a project manager for international business development and was actively involved in the company’s successful penetration of foreign markets in the area of sales. A year later, he became Head of the Key Account Sales Service; during his tenure, he and his team helped GEN-I become the largest electricity supplier in Slovenia. In 2013, he was appointed State Secretary responsible for the energy sector at the Ministry of Infrastructure and Spatial Planning by the Government of the Republic of Slovenia. He drafted the legislative framework and strategic energy documents and proposed the government’s energy policy. In 2014, he was appointed Director of Elektro energija, transforming it from a loss-making company into a highly profitable business and strategically integrating it with the GEN-I Group, where he assumed the position of Sales Director in 2018. In September 2018, he was appointed State Secretary at the Ministry of Infrastructure by the Government of the Republic of Slovenia, where he again upgraded and modernised energy legislation. Concurrently, he completed an MBA at the School of Economics and Business in Ljubljana. Under his leadership, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia adopted the extremely important strategic, environmentally sound and action-oriented National Energy and Climate Plan. After returning to GEN-I in 2020, he assumed a number of leadership and management roles, most recently focusing on the ESCO area and the Group’s strategic initiatives.

    Slovenian Minister of the Environment, Climate and Energy

  • Boyana Achovski

    Boyana Achovski

    Secretary General, Gas Infrastructure Europe

    Boyana Achovski is the Secretary-General of Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE), a role she has held since September 2016. GIE is the European association of gas transmission, gas storage, and LNG regasification terminal operators. Boyana led the Analysis and International Operations Division in Bulgartransgaz, later joining GIE in 2012 as the first secondment of the Bulgarian gas infrastructure operator to the European association. She chaired the GasNaturally Steering Committee twice in 2017 and 2019. Boyana started her European affairs career in the European Parliament in Brussels. She has graduated in International Economic Affairs, specialised in International Finance, and holds a Master’s degree in Finance and in Management of International Associations from the Solvay Brussels School. Boyana has also obtained a certificate in Women’s Leadership from the University of Oxford and is involved in initiatives related to career development, women empowerment, and gender equality in the energy sector. In 2022 Boyana graduated from INSEAD with a diploma in Executive Coaching and continues focusing on the career support of talents in the industry.

    Secretary General, Gas Infrastructure Europe

  • Clara Poletti

    Clara Poletti

    Chair of the Board of Regulators, ACER

    Clara Poletti is Commissioner at the Italian Regulatory Authority for Energy, Networks and Environment (ARERA), competent for the regulation of energy, water and waste management services. She is Chair of the Board of Regulators of the European Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) and Italian delegate at the Council of European Energy Regulators (CEER).
    She has more than twenty years experience in energy and sustainability.
    From 2007 to 2011, she was Director of the Bocconi University research centre on energy and environment (IEFE). She was also a founding academic director at the Centre on Regulation in Europe (CERRE). She is member of the Board of Directors of the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), associate researcher of the Cambridge Energy Policy Research Group and member of the Advisory Board of the Florence School of Regulation.
    She is the author of numerous scientific articles.
    For her professional contribution in regulating the energy transition and for the example set, in 2023 she was awarded by the Florence School of Regulation the LUCE award for legacy women and by the Women&Tech Association the Techno-visionaries award.

    Chair of the Board of Regulators, ACER

  • Didier Holleaux

    Didier Holleaux

    President of Eurogas

    After graduating as an Engineer (Ecole Polytechnique and Ecole Nationale des Mines de Paris), Didier HOLLEAUX started to work as an Engineer in the car-manufacturing and in the oil industry. He then made a career in the French Civil Service which led him to the position of head of the departmental staff (“Directeur de Cabinet”) of the Energy Minister (1992-1993).

    Didier HOLLEAUX joined Gaz de France (merged in GDF SUEZ in 2008 and renamed as ENGIE in 2015), in 1993. Since then, he held different managing positions in the transmission, distribution, and LNG businesses of the company. He also founded and managed the North Sea Exploration and Production (1997-2000) and managed the worldwide Exploration and Production of the group (2007-2015). Since 1st of July 2015, he is Executive Vice President of ENGIE. He is currently in charge of special projects particularly in the field of renewable gases and external representation.

    Didier HOLLEAUX has been elected President of Eurogas in June 2021.

    President of Eurogas

  • Gregor Skender

    Gregor Skender

    Energy Attaché, Permanent Representation of Slovenia to the EU

    Gregor has 10+ years experience in project management, strategy and policy in both public and private sectors. He has been involved in improvement and reform of complex governance/management systems, public sector and corporate strategy, market research, policy evaluation and more. Over the past five years, he has been focusing on sustainable development across the EU Green Deal domains. He is currently working on energy transition as Energy Attaché at the Permanent Representation of Slovenia to the European Union. Before joining the Permanent Representation, he was a sustainability leader at Deloitte CE South Cluster, and later a leader of the sustainability advisory practice for the EU institutions at Deloitte Belgium. Gregor has a university degree in political science from the University of Ljubljana, where he also obtained his MBA degree. He also completed a Business Sustainability Management programme at the University of Cambridge.

    Energy Attaché, Permanent Representation of Slovenia to the EU

  • Ivan Fugaš

    Ivan Fugaš

    Director, LNG Hrvatska

    Ivan has finished Faculty of mining, geology, and petroleum engineering in 2006. During his professional career, he has completed several professional development programs in the field of project management and engineering, natural gas equipment and pipelines, operation and maintenance of FSRU vessels and various safety processes of working with LNG. In the period from 2002 to 2006, he has completed several internships at CROSCO, while from 2007 to 2020 he has worked at Plinacro Ltd., (Croatian TSO), in all positions: from intern, pipeline engineer, head of development department to the director of the gas transmission department. Since 2020, he has been appointed as technical and operation director at LNG Hrvatska LLC. and from June 2023. as managing director.

    Director, LNG Hrvatska

  • James Watson

    James Watson

    Secretary General, Eurogas

    Dr Watson is the Secretary General of Eurogas, a role he has held since January 2019. Eurogas is the association representing the European gas wholesale, retail and distribution sectors.

    Prior to taking the helm at Eurogas, Dr Watson was the Chief Executive Officer of SolarPower Europe, the European solar industry association. Before joining SolarPower Europe, Dr Watson worked as the Director of Public Affairs for Weber Shandwick, specialising in energy and trade policy. Before coming to Brussels, Dr Watson worked for the Commonwealth Secretariat on a European Commission project on trade and sustainable development based in Ethiopia. Earlier in his career James worked for various UK government bodies in London and worked as a lecturer in Environmental Law at the University of Manchester.

    He holds a Ph.D in International Trade and Environmental Law from the University of Leeds, and is currently a Visiting Professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

    Secretary General, Eurogas

  • Lea Lavrič

    Lea Lavrič

    Head of Development, KOTO

    Currently employed as Head of R&D at company KOTO. Works in environmental biotechnology sector and has more than ten years experience with biogas production. She led the project of the designing, commissioning, and optimization of the Biogas Plant in Ljubljana.
    Participated in several EU projects aimed at technology development and demonstration.
    After education in chemical technology and economy Lea completed postgraduate interdisciplinary studies in Environmental Protection at the University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty.

    Head of Development, KOTO

  • Marko Ileršič

    Marko Ileršič

    Senior Consultant, Plinovodi

    Mr. Marko Ileršič holds the Bachelor Degree in Mechanical Engineering and the Master Degree in Business Administration. He joined Plinovodi, the Transmission System Operator for Gas, in 2020 and since then he held different positions in development, commercial and finance. He is currently in charge of strategic development and internal advisory. Mr. Ileršič is active in international associations, i.e. International Gas Union, ENTSO-G and Gas Infrastructure Europe. Currently he also serves as the Chairman of Slovenian Association for Energy Economics, which is the national branch of IAEE.

    Senior Consultant, Plinovodi

  • Matija Bitenc

    Matija Bitenc

    General Manager, Geoplin

    Matija Bitenc, born in 1980, holding a master’s degree in economic sciences, has been General Manager of Geoplin d.o.o. Ljubljana since 2022. Geoplin is Slovenia’s largest natural gas supplier and trader and one of the most important companies in the Slovenian energy sector, with almost 50 years of tradition, and an active member at gas hubs in Austria, Italy and Hungary and some other markets in the region of Central and Southeastern Europe. Prior to his current function in Geoplin, Mr Bitenc was a Member of the Management Board of Petrol d.d., Ljubljana, the largest Slovenian energy company. At the beginning of his career, he held various Senior and Middle Management positions in prominent insurance companies and consulting firms, such as Zavarovalnica Triglav, Ernst & Young and Deloitte.

    General Manager, Geoplin

  • MEP Franc Bogovič

    MEP Franc Bogovič

    Member of European Parliament

    Born on 2nd February 1963 in Koprivnica, Slovenia, Franc Bogovič graduated from the Agronomy College in 1984 and became an Agricultural Engineer. His professional career constitutes of several different posts, such as agricultural extension expert, agricultural trade entrepreneur, Mayor of Krško Municipality, member of Slovenian National Assembly and Minister of Agriculture and Environment. On 2 March 2013, Bogovič was elected President of the Slovenian People’s Party, the position he held until 6th December 2014. Bogovič is currently serving his second term as a Member of the European Parliament, where he is engaged in topics related to agriculture, rural and regional development, cohesion policy, as well as energy. Bogovič is also leading the Smart Villages initiative in the European Parliament. With ensuring EU funding of pilot projects and preparatory actions on Smart villages in the last few years, Bogovič is working closely with the European Commission so that Smart Villages are going to become a significant part of the future EU regional and rural development policy. Bogovič is also active in nuclear energy related topics and is responsible, as a draftsperson for the Parliament’s report on Small Modular Reactors (SMR), for the historically high support of the European Parliament for nuclear energy and its related technologies.

    Member of European Parliament

  • Metod Podkrižnik

    Metod Podkrižnik

    Member of the Management Board, Petrol

    Metod Podkrižnik (born in 1971) is a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering and a Master of Economic Sciences. He started his professional career in 1998 as the Head of Maintenance at Gorenje. Between 1999 and 2006, he was the Head of the Commercial Sector at the Agency of the Republic of Slovenia for Commodity Reserves. In 2006, he joined Holding Slovenske Elektrarne d.o.o. as the Assistant General Manager, following which he moved to OMV in 2008, initially as the Head of Business Area in Slovenia and later in the entire region. Between 2013 and 2015, he served as the General Manager of OMV Slovakia. Afterwards, he was the Director of Fersped d.o.o. In 2017, he was a Member of the Management Board of Luka Koper d.d. where he was responsible for commerce and operations. In 2023, he took over the management of Bluemarine d.o.o. His term of office as a Member of the Management Board of Petrol, responsible for B2B and B2G sales, natural gas, electricity and operations, started on 1 January 2024.

    Member of the Management Board, Petrol

  • Monika Zsigri

    Monika Zsigri

    Global demand and international negotiations, DG ENER, European Commission

    Monika Zsigri works for the European Commission on energy policy as a head of unit in the Energy Platform task force, focusing on the development of a joint purchasing mechanism and international outreach to support the EU’s diversification away from Russian fossil fuels. She has experience of more than a decade on different aspects of EU energy policy, including the reduction of methane emissions, LNG and storage, as well as energy security, energy infrastructure and regional cooperation. Previously, she has worked in the area of cohesion policy in support of the twin transition to a green and digital economy and coordinated the setting up and implementation of a new funding instrument on innovation.
    Before joining the Commission, as management consultant she worked on different assignments in the energy and telecommunications sectors helping clients optimizing their business processes or developing successful business strategies. Ms Zsigri holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration.

    Global demand and international negotiations, DG ENER, European Commission