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Balti upgrades district heating system

By Olga Rosca

Vadim Dermenji, Deputy Director General of Moldova's Public Property Agency, and Angela Sax, EBRD Head of Moldova at the opening of the plant.

  • Balti, Moldova’s second-largest city, upgrades district heating utility
  • Customers will be able to regulate their heat consumption
  • Improvements to cut air pollution by emission reductions

Citizens of Balti, Moldova’s second-largest city, will benefit from more efficient district heating thanks to a series of investments by the heating utility CET Nord financed by the EBRD and the Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership (E5P) fund.

The improvements include:

  • the installation of four combined heat and power generation plants (with a total generating electric capacity of 13.4MW and thermic capacity of 12.5MW)
  • the rehabilitation of the heat generation system, including the replacement of the pumps and fans and the installation of frequency converters
  • the installation of 169 individual heating substations in 130 residential buildings
  • the conversion of a coal-fired heat-only boiler to biomass fuel use with a total thermic capacity of 650KW.

As a result, consumers are now able to better regulate their heat consumption and pay only for the heat they use. The new technology will also decrease operating and maintenance costs for CET Nord, improving energy efficiency and cutting CO2 emissions.

Attending the unveiling of the new district heating installations in Balti, Angela Sax, EBRD Head of Moldova, said: “The upgrade has delivered important efficiency benefits which will improve living conditions for residents of Balti and will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It is heart-warming to see that our joint efforts have produced tangible results for the northern capital of Moldova.”

The project is a cooperation between the EBRD which has provided a €7 million loan and a €740,000 grant and the E5P multi-donor fund which has contributed a €3 million grant.

Marco Gemmer, the Head of Operations at the EU Delegation to the Republic of Moldova added: "Launched by the Swedish Presidency of the EU in 2009, the E5P is bringing tangible benefits to the citizens of Moldova. The EU and several of its member states together are the largest contributor of the initiative, one of the many ways the EU is helping improve the quality of life in the country.”

The E5P facilitates investments in energy efficiency and environmental projects. Active in Moldova and other Eastern Partnership countries, the E5P is funded by the European Union, as the largest donor; the Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Germany; Lithuania; Norway; Moldova; Poland; Romania; Slovak Republic; and Sweden.

The EU is Moldova’s largest donor and has to date provided over €1 billion in grant funding.

The EBRD is the leading institutional investor in the country and to date has invested over €1.3 billion through almost 130 projects. The Bank also provides business advice to local small and medium-sized enterprises and has helped about 1,000 Moldovan firms improve their performance and growth.

Background information on E5P

The E5P is a €206 million multi-donor fund initiated by Sweden and operating in Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The EU is the largest overall contributor. The E5P Fund in Moldova totals €28 million and includes a €1 million contribution from Moldova. The funds are to help Moldova improve energy efficiency, contributing to energy security and economic competitiveness, policy dialogue, while having a positive impact on the environment.

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