Works Launched on New Block of Zagreb Power and Heating Plant

By 20 December 2019

ZAGREB, December 20, 2019 - A ceremony was held in Zagreb on Thursday to mark the start of construction work on a combined co-generation unit at the Zagreb KKE EL-TO combined power and heating plant, an investment worth 900 million kuna (approx. 121 million kuna).

The new, high-efficiency block, with a capacity of 150 megawatts of electricity and 114 megawatts of heating energy is the single biggest investment of the state-owned HEP power company in new production facilities in the last 10 years, it was said at the ceremony, which was attended, among others, by Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and HEP Management Board chair Frane Barbarić.

The expected average annual output of the new block is 675 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity, 450 GWh of heating energy for Zagreb's central heating system, and 160 GWh of industrial steam. The electricity produced by this unit will meet the consumption demand of close to 200,000 households.

Thanks to its most modern Siemens technology of combined co-generation, the new block will save up to 25% of primary energy from natural gas. Also, once its old and inefficient units are the Zagreb KKE EL-TO combined power and heating plant will emit considerably less carbon dioxide and other pollutants.

The project is to be financed with loans granted by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Investment Bank (EIB), with guarantees having been provided by the European Fund for Strategic Investments, the main platform of the European Commission's Investment Plan for Europe.

The contract on construction work and a contract on long-term maintenance were signed in July 2018 with the Italian company FAT S.p.A.

PM Plenković said that this was yet one more major investment in the national energy system, expressing satisfaction that, in line with the national energy strategy, HEP's activities were directed at renewable energy sources.

Barbarić said that the investment would bring multiple benefits, notably for 80,000 residents of the western part of Zagreb, who in the long run would obtain a safer source of heat.

He said that this was HEP's biggest but not only investment in power plants, citing in that context the Kastelir solar power plant in Istria, which has been put into operation, construction work on a power plant on Vis island that is nearing completion, as well as work on the Korlat wind power plant, which is also nearing completion. Three solar power plants are to be built on the island of Cres and preparations are under way for the construction of a solar power plant near Vrlika, said Barbarić.

All projects, including the one in Zagreb, are part of HEP's scenario of development of renewable energy sources, as part of which power plants with the capacity of 1,500 megawatts will be built until 2030, he said.

Asked by reporters about problems with heat supply in Novi Zagreb, Barbarić said that currently work was underway on absorbing around 64 million euro from EU funds, on which contracts should be signed in a month or two, to replace 62 kilometres of district heating pipes in Zagreb, which would help remove the problem.

HEP will provide an additional HRK 150 million of its own funds to renovate heating pipes in Zagreb, Barbarić said, recalling that HEP had so far invested 10 million euro to install new heating pipes in Osijek.

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