The fourth edition of the EBRD Sustainable Energy Excellence Awards in Slovakia also recognised a company that installs and operates biogas stations and a district heating company that has upgraded its distribution system. The ceremony in Bratislava was organised as part of the EBRD’s annual international SEFF conference, which convened outside its London headquarters for the very first time.
This year’s award for best industrial energy efficiency project went to Agro Tami Nitra, a company that makes yoghurts, spreads and other dairy products, for refurbishing its milk-processing plant. BPS Belá picked up the award for best renewable energy project for the development of two stations that produce biogas by fermenting cattle manure and other organic materials.
The prize for best district heating project was awarded to ENERGOBYT for its refurbishment of distribution piping and local heat exchangers. The company provides heating for some 17,400 residents in the town of Rimavska Sobota in southern Slovakia.
SlovSEFF is a grant-supported credit line aimed at promoting sustainable energy investments in Slovakia’s private sector through local participating banks. Under the framework, Slovak companies may borrow up to €2.5 million to finance energy-saving investments and benefit from a financial incentive upon successful project completion. Free technical consultancy services are provided by Czech company ENVIROS. Donor funding is made available through the Bohunice International Decommissioning Support Fund (BIDSF), which is also administered by the EBRD.
“SlovSEFF has been particularly successful in financing improvements in the quality of the housing stock, mainly through housing associations,” said Terry McCallion, EBRD Director for Energy Efficiency and Climate Change.
Since the start of the programme in 2007, SlovSEFF has supported hundreds of projects in Slovakia, including energy efficiency improvements in 550 residential buildings, 65 industrial companies and 14 renewable energy projects, with over €130 million having been committed under the programme to date. These projects will lead to annual savings equivalent to the household electricity consumption of a city like Bratislava (about 125,000 households).
It was this performance that drew the EBRD’s two-day SEFF conference to the Slovak capital this year, according to Nick Tesseyman, Managing Director for Financial Institutions at the EBRD. “The Bank is keen to share the SlovSEFF success story with other SEFFs implemented in its countries of operations,” he said.
This year, the awards ceremony was extended to the recently started Municipal Sustainable Energy Finance Facility (MunSEFF), which aims to stimulate the energy efficient rehabilitation of municipal infrastructure in Slovakia, in particular in the building sector. This facility is funded by the European Union.
The awards ceremony was attended by over 180 people, including representatives of the Slovak government, local authorities and international institutions as well as guests from EBRD partner banks and local companies.
EBRD Sustainable Energy Excellence Awards
Categories and Winners
1. Award for the best industrial energy efficiency project
Winner: Agro Tami Nitra a.s.
Agro Tami Nitra operates a milk-processing plant and focuses on the production of high-quality, milk-based products such as yoghurts and spreads. It was commended for its complex and sensitive refurbishment approach at its technically complex facility. This is the second time that a project implemented by Agro Tami has won an award under the SlovSEFF programme. This project was fully financed by a SlovSEFF loan of €633,000 from Slovenská Sporiteľňa and resulted in energy savings of 5 per cent.
2. Award for the best renewable energy project
Winner: BPS Belá s.r.o.
BPS Belá s.r.o. has developed two technologically outstanding biogas stations. The first one, Belá nad Cirochou, was built in 2011 in the mountainous area of the Poloniny National Park. The second is located in the Tatra Mountains. The stations produce biogas through anaerobic fermentation of organic materials such as cattle manure and corn and grass silage. Generated biogas is pumped to cogeneration units with an installed electricity and heating output of 990kW and 1,095kW respectively. The electricity is fed to the public distribution grid while the heat is partly used to heat the fermenters and farm premises. The projects received a loan of approximately 50 per cent of the total €3.3 million investment costs from VUB bank.
3. Award for best building rehabilitation project
Winner: Residential building number 6 & 8 on Kukučína street, Zvolen
This apartment building dates from 1946 and did not comply with modern thermal standards. Its specific heat consumption was 93 kWh/m2 which was at the threshold of the value required. Through measures such external wall and roof insulation, annual heating energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions were lowered by 64 per cent. The building’s specific heat consumption is now estimated at 34 kWh/m2 which is well below the limit for low-energy buildings. The project was supported by SlovSEFF and Tatra Bank who loaned almost 60 per cent of the investment costs.
4. Award for best district heating project
Winner: ENERGOBYT s.r.o., Rimavská Sobota
The company supplies heat to residents in Rimavská Sobota. Thirty-six energy sources with an installed power of nearly 64 MW are used to deliver heat to some 17,400 residents at 172 customer disposal sites. The company used SlovSEFF investment help to upgrade its distribution piping and local heat exchangers in buildings. These measures led to energy consumption savings of 14 per cent. The project was made possible by a 100 per cent loan from Tatra Bank.
5. Award for the most active housing association
Winner: District Housing Association Žilina
The District Housing Association Žilina is a body of residents who jointly own a number of apartment buildings or flats in Žilina. The role of the association is to manage the real estate owned by its members. Over the years, it has been very active in the field of energy efficiency improvements and 60 of its building projects have been supported by SlovSEFF since 2008. The most common measures include building envelope insulation, replacement of old windows and doors, and the upgrade of heating systems.
6. MunSEFF Award for the most effective energy efficiency improvement project
Winner: Municipality Veľká Lomnica - Primary school renovation
One award was handed out under MunSEFF for the renovation of a primary school in the municipality of Veľká Lomnica. The investment addressed the school’s historically high heat consumption, as the school is located in one of the coldest regions of the country. The refurbishment, which included the insulation of exterior walls and roof and window and door replacements, led to the reduction of energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 63 per cent and a reduction in energy costs of 57 per cent. The investment was fully covered by a loan from Slovenská sporiteľňa.