Approximately 1 million citizens will benefit from the district heating system modernization program worth over 100 million euros, stated Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic, adding that the program is realized in cooperation with the German Government. In the Serbian Government building, Cvetkovic and Minister of Infrastructure and Energy Milutin Mrkonjic signed agreements on modernization of heating plants with representatives of 18 cities. Biljana Blanusa has more.
The program of heating plants renovation throughout Serbia is one of the most important projects as it has enabled modernization of district heating systems, emphasized Prime Minister Cvetkovic. Technical capacities of the heating plants have been thus increased, carbon-dioxide emissions reduced, and energy efficiency significantly increased. Three stages of the project that started in 2001 have been completed by now. The investment amounted to 63 million euros and encompassed 8 cities. At the time, 70 kilometers of the heating grid were reconstructed and built, 205 MW capacity substations reconstructed, six 250 MW capacity boiler rooms reconstructed and six 132 MW capacity boiler rooms were built. Thus we have reduced carbon-dioxide emissions by 10 million tons annually and saved 38,000 MW hours of energy or 2 million euros, Cvetkovic specified. The fourth stage that has just commenced will encompass 20 cities. The value of investment is some 57 million euros.
The project is realized as part of cooperation between the governments of Serbia and Germany, as well as the German Development Bank (KfW). Deputy German Ambassador to Serbia Hans Ulrich Sudbeck emphasized that Germany allocated some 100 million euros for modernization of heating plants in Serbia. Germany planned 1.2 billion euros for economic cooperation with Serbia, and half of this amount is set aside for the field of energy. Sudbeck expressed satisfaction over the successful cooperation of the two countries adding that Serbia’s 18.5 million euros debt to Germany has been written off.
The German Development Bank (KfW) approved a favorable loan in the amount of 45 million euros, with a subsidized fixed interest rate of 2.5%, a 12 year repayment period and a four year grace period. Germany provided funds worth some 2 million euros for the project, while the Serbian Government will set aside 9.25 million euros. The agreements were signed by representatives of Novi Sad, Subotica, Zrenjanin, Kragujevac, Sabac, Cacak, Valjevo, Krusevac, Pirot, Bor, Leskovac, Trstenik, Jagodina, Novi Pazar, Knjazevac, Ruma, Backa Palanka and Negotin. Nis and Kraljevo are expected to join the program soon. The fourth stage should be completed by the end of 2015 when most of 57 heating plants in Serbia will have been modernized.