Serbia’s Mining and Energy Minister Dubravka Đedović Handanović visited the construction site of a new biomass plant in Majdanpek on Friday (13 October), the fourth in Serbia to be built in cooperation with German development bank KfW.
“The total value of the investment is 5.5 million euros and with the construction of a new heating plant, the citizens of Majdanpek will receive not only safe and high-quality heating, but also cleaner air and a healthier environment, because fuel oil will be completely phased out of use in the district heating system. Sulfur dioxide emissions will be completely eliminated, and carbon dioxide emissions will be reduced by 93 per cent,” said Minister Đedović Handanović.
The minister said that she expects the first quantities of thermal energy from the new heating plant to be delivered by the end of this heating season, as the plant is planned to be completed in February.
“We have agreed to continue with the construction of biomass plants through a new program worth 32 million euros. So far, three plants – Prijepolje, Novi Pazar, Nis – have confirmed their interest, and we expect that several more cities will be included in this program,” the minister said and added that the KfW bank is a partner of the Mining and Energy Ministry in other energy sector projects.
Minister Đedović Handanović emphasised that alongside investments in the construction of new plants and energy renovation of public buildings, the state has provided subsidies for citizens who want to improve energy efficiency in their homes, which can cover up to 65 per cent of the investment costs.
“More than 200 households in Majdanpek have so far received subsidies for energy renovation, and a public call is underway for citizens to apply for subsidies for energy efficiency measures. For this purpose, the Ministry and the municipality have provided 20 million dinars, which is twice as much money as in the previous public call. All these larger and smaller individual investments will bring us closer to achieving our goals as a state – to be energy independent and to successfully implement the transition to clean energy sources,” said the Serbian minister.
As a result of the new biomass plant in Majdanpek, an additional 300 households will gain access to district heating, said Dragan Popović, Mayor of Majdanpek. He added that the plant will solve the heating problem in this municipality.
Germany’s Ambassador in Serbia Anke Conrad emphasised that since 2001, Germany has provided almost 1.5 billion euros for the development of the energy sector in Serbia. “We will continue to support Serbia in the transformation of the energy sector, particularly in the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, while strengthening energy independence and resilience,” said Ambassador Conrad.
Ambassador Conrad added that more than 20 municipalities in Serbia with around 250,000 inhabitants have participated in programmes related to the modernisation of the district heating system supported by Germany.
Switzerland’s Ambassador in Serbia Urs Schmid said that the country has invested five million euros in decarbonising the district heating sector within projects, where boilers using fossil fuels were replaced with biomass boilers. “We are pleased to say that the works in Prijepolje, Mali Zvornik, and Novi Pazar have already been successfully completed, and we supported the project in Majdanpek with more than 900,000 euros in donations. This project will enable the citizens of Majdanpek to benefit from sustainable, efficient, and reliable energy supply and ensure the economically stable operation of the district heating system,” said Ambassador Schmid.