The funding, the first EBRD investment in renewable energy in the Balkan state, will lead to significant cost savings for Toplana AD Prijedor, the plant operator majority owned by the local authorities. The new boiler will no longer be fuelled by oil, but by wood chips, a sustainable and cheaper alternative. The project will also be supported by grant funding of up to ?2 million from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).
The funding will aim at improving the quality of customer service through the installation of individual heat substations and the introduction of heat meters. Over 13,000 people are expected to benefit from this project. The project will help Bosnia and Herzegovina meet its renewable energy targets for 2020 as set out in the Energy Community Treaty for South Eastern Europe. The country aims at an 80 per cent reduction of CO2 emissions by that date. To complement the investments, technical co-operation support for procurement assistance and corporate development measures is also being financed by Sida with additional resources of ?550,000.
"We are very pleased to be signing these agreements today. This project will not only change the source of district heating for the citizens of Prijedor from polluting fuel oil to cleaner, sustainable and renewable energy, but it will also deliver real cost savings to the city and its consumers." said Ian Brown, Head of the EBRD Office in Bosnia and Herzegovina, "We greatly value the EBRD's cooperation and support to help develop the municipality of Prijedor. We are proud to use innovative and efficient methods to improve the efficiency of our services", added Bosnia and Herzegovina's Minister of Finance and Treasury, Nikola pirić. "We are grateful to the Swedish government for their significant support to this investment to ensure the successful preparation and implementation of the project", said the General Manager of Toplana AD Prijedor, Ljiljana Despotović. Since the start of its operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the EBRD has invested more than ?1.6 billion in more than 110 projects in the country. The Bank invests in infrastructure development, support for small and medium-sized enterprise and the strengthening of the financial sector.