Developing biomass heating sector in the Slovak Republic

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The EBRD is promiting a municipality in western Slovakia which aims to become the country’s green energy capital.

An energy utility company supplying heat and warm water to the 60,000-person municipality of Trenčín (in the west of the Slovak Republic), applied for a loan to the Slovak Sustainable Energy Finance Facility (SlovSEFF) to construct a biomass boiler plant.

Using locally sourced materials for biomass fuel

The company is using straw, corn cobs and woodchips as fuel, which comes from local farms within a radius of 30 kilometres. These different forms of bio crop can be varied to generate differing energy outputs according to the energy needs.

On top of the company’s own contribution of €650,000, SlovSEFF provided €2.5 million of project costs, with an EU-funded incentive payment of 15 per cent of the total loan amount.

Significant savings to customers

This investment allowed the company to lower heat and energy production costs, which amount to around one-third of conventional gas boilers. In turn, this saves customers around 10-15 per cent on their heating bills and leads to carbon dioxide emissions reductions of 8,600 tonnes per year, thanks to the drop in natural gas consumption.

With 8MW biomass output capacity, the boilers currently provide heat and warm water to about 3,000 households living in one district, which amount to slightly more than 30 per cent of the company’s total 10,800 residential households. The loan will be repaid within eight years and, in the meantime, further biomass boilers are planned on a new site.

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