The municipality of Priboj has started building a boiler to use wood chips as fuel, in what will improve heating supply for five public facilities and cut their heating costs.
The new 1.8 MW biomass boiler will supply heating to two elementary schools and two high schools, as well as primary health care facility, with the launch of operations expected in the second half of the upcoming heating season, according to a media conference held on the construction site in Priboj today.
“The construction of the second boiler to use wood chips as fuel represents the second phase of our strategic plan to replace the use of fossil fuels for district heating in the municipality of Priboj with biomass and secure safer, healthier, and cheaper heating for residents. The RSD 90 million in financial support for the construction of the new boiler came from the Public Investment Management Office of the Republic of Serbia, while technical assistance on the project was provided by German development organization GIZ,” said Deputy Mayor Saša Vasilić, according to a media release from GIZ.
In the first phase of the project to convert to biomass as fuel for district heating in Priboj, the boiler in the old part of the town, heating a school, a pre-school institution, a cultural center, and a municipal building, switched to pellets in 2016.
The environmental aspect of converting to renewable energy sources is indubitable, but what is also very important is that biomass is a locally sourced fuel, said Rainer Schellhaas GIZ DKTI’s Biomass Supply component leader, noting that this means that the money set aside for fuel is spent locally, helping drive the local community’s sustainable economic development.
The Priboj authorities have been taking an active part in the Development of a Sustainable Bioenergy Market in Serbia program as part of the German-Serbian Development Cooperation. The municipality is one of 10 to have signed an agreement last year to convert from fossil fuels to biomass for district heating. The construction of a new district heating plant in Priboj will start in the fall of 2019, according to the media release from the GIZ. According to Vasilić, this will help round off Priboj’s biomass district heating system.
The wider project to convert 10 heating plants to biomass is worth EUR 27 million, EUR 20 million of which is financed with a loan from German development bank KfW, which is also providing a EUR 2 million grant, and a EUR 5 million grant from the government of Switzerland, with the GIZ providing technical assistance.