Energy Efficiency

Five Serbian heating plants to be converted from coal, oil to biomass

serbia heating plants biomass eu kfw djedovic miscevic vucevic konrad

Photo: Emilija Jovanović

Published

May 17, 2024

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Published:

May 17, 2024

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Serbia will build biomass heating plants in Niš, Bajina Bašta, Prijepolje, Rača and Novi Pazar to replace fuel oil and coal in district heating systems. The investments are part of the second phase of the program Renewable Energy Sources – Development of the Biomass Market in the Republic of Serbia.

The second phase of the project for the decarbonization of the heating sector is estimated at EUR 31.9 million. The European Union is providing a EUR 10 million grant, while the rest is a loan from Germany’s KfW Development Bank and donations from the Federal Republic of Germany, Serbia’s Ministry of Mining and Energy said.

According to the ministry, the project will enable heating plants in several municipalities to switch to biomass as fuel, providing residents with a secure energy supply and a healthier environment.

Four biomass heating plants were built within the first phase of the project

The grant agreements were signed by Minister of Mining and Energy Dubravka Đedović Handanović, Minister of European Integration Tanja Miščević, and Director of the KfW office in Belgrade Carsten Sandhop.

Serbian Prime Minister Miloš Vučević, European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi, and Germany’s Ambassador to Serbia Anke Konrad attended the ceremony.

Đedović Handanović noted that during the first phase of the project, four biomass heating plants were built in Priboj, Mali Zvornik, Novi Pazar, and Majdanpek, with a total investment of EUR 27 million.

Đedović Handanović: Sulfur dioxide emissions will be almost completely eliminated

The investment, in her words, has provided citizens with reliable and quality heating and cleaner air.

“With the support of the EU and Germany, we will continue these investments in Niš, Bajina Bašta, Prijepolje, Rača, and Novi Pazar, where we plan to replace fuel oil and coal with biomass. Carbon dioxide emissions will be reduced by 88%, and sulfur dioxide emissions will be almost completely eliminated, providing citizens with a healthier environment,” Đedović Handanović said.

Commissioner Várhelyi stressed that new investments in district heating would continue to reduce air pollution while promoting local development and economic growth, as wood biomass must be sourced locally to be economically sustainable.

He recalled that in the past ten years, the EU provided more than EUR 600 million in grants to Serbia’s energy sector.

The project is helping Serbia align in the sector of environmental protection covered by chapter 27 of accession negotiations

According to the Minister of European Integration Tanja Miščević, the project significantly improves the environment in which citizens live, reducing sulfur dioxide and CO2 emissions.

“All these are elements of the energy transition and our alignment in the sector of environmental protection covered by chapter 27, as well as the obligations we have undertaken from the European Green Deal and other regional initiatives,” she said.

German Ambassador to Serbia Anke Konrad emphasized that international climate goals could not be achieved without the Western Balkans.

“Through its strategic climate partnership with the Western Balkan countries, Germany will continue to support Serbia in implementing an ambitious energy transition process,” Konrad stressed.

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