The first two big biomass heating plants in Serbia will become operational on October 1 in the towns Priboj and Mali Zvornik will be operational. The facilities with an installed capacity of 9.8 megawatts (MW) will use wood chips instead of coal, fuel oil and natural gas, which will reduce environmental pollution and the expenses for local budgets.
Biomass heating plants in Priboj and Mali Zvornik are part of a project called Promotion of Renewable Energy Sources – Development of the Biomass Market in Serbia, worth EUR 26.75 million and implemented by the Ministry of Mining and Energy, Germany’s KfW Development Bank and Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).
The project, which began in mid-2017, is financed by KfW with a EUR 20 million loan and a EUR 2 million grant, while SECO provided a EUR 4.75 million grant. The loan has an interest rate of 1.1%, a two-year grace period and a repayment period of 18 years.
Prijepolje, Nova Varoš, Novi Pazar and Majdanpek will also install biomass heating plants within the project.
All six heating plants will have a capacity of 30 MW. Serbia’s 62 existing heating plants have an installed capacity of 6,000 MW.
Heating plants in Serbia mostly use natural gas (80%), followed by fuel oil (11.7%), coal (7.8%) and biomass, less than one percent.
District heating in Priboj completely switching from coal and fuel oil to wood chips
The heating plant in Priboj, with a capacity of 8 MW, will have two fuel oil boilers of a total of 15 MW as a reserve. The heating plant currently uses coal and fuel oil, and the new one will use wood chips from the territory of the Priboj municipality. The investment in Priboj is worth EUR 5.25 million, and the installation is being conducted by a group of companies headed by Energotehnika Južna Bačka.
The new heating plant will halve energy consumption, and bring savings for the local budget. In line with the conditions for the implementation of the project, heating will be paid according to consumption.
Priboj has already installed two boilers on biomass with a capacity of 2.7 MW. After the new one starts operation, the city’s district heating will be completely switched from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources.
Natural gas as a reserve fuel in Mali Zvornik
The investment in the biomass heating plant in Mali Zvornik is estimated at EUR 2.35 million. It will have two wood-fired boilers with a capacity of 0.9 MW each and a spare gas boiler with a capacity of 2.5 MW. It is planned that the share of wood chips in production will be 95%, and that gas would make up 5%. The heating plant now uses natural gas and has no alternative fuel.
The installation in Priboj is also conducted by a consortium led by Energotehnika Južna Bačka.