Banjaluka plans construction of wood-biomass heating plant – City Assembly to discuss public call for strategic partner
Banjaluka City Assembly will discuss on March 15 the public call for a strategic partner for the construction of a new wood-biomass heating plant.
The Mayor of the Republika Srpska capital, Igor Radojičić said after the meeting of the Assembly Council that Banjaluka city is looking for the strategic partner for the construction of the plant on the “turnkey” basis, because the it cannot realize this project by itself.
According to Radojičić, city will provide land, infrastructure and even “some amount of money, if necessary”. However, the Mayor did not specify the sum, thus leaving the possibility for strategic partner to offer to finance entire project.
According to the plan, new facility is to be built next to the existing heating plant, but it will not be a part of that enterprise. The mayor Radojičić said: “The current debt of “Toplana” is 85 million KM (EUR 43,5 million). If any creditor activates debt collection, new wood-biomass heating plant will automatically go bankrupt.
New heating plant will be a separate enterprise, organized as a company. Radojičić also said that the existing heating plant will not and can not be shut down, and that the profit from the new heating plant will probably be used for the repayment of debts of the existing heating plant.
On March 9, Budget and Finance Committee of Banjaluka city Assembly, gave green light for the construction of the new wood biomass heating plant, suggesting that on the next session of the Assembly (scheduled for March 15) city authorities should define the strategy for the old heating plant and its employees, as well as the amount of money the City is to invest in new facility.
Members of the Committee were also worried that the transition to wood biomass fuel in the district heating system may cause price increase of wood for citizens who use it for heating in their households. They also asked whether the capacities of the public company Šume Republike Srpske, that is in charge of wood management in the entity, are enough to support the requirements of the new heating plant. The answer came from Zoran Popović, member of the Committee and Technical Manager in the “Banjaluka” forest company who said that the area where Banjaluka gravitates, provides exploitation of 512.000 cubic meters of wood annually, while the new heating plant will need around 80.000.