€8.3 million EBRD loan supplied for Bosnia and Herzegovina biomass boiler

The European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has provided an €8.3 million loan to finance the creation of a biomass boiler plant in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

As part of its Green Cities Framework, EBRD is supporting the construction of a 49MW district-heating boiler plant fired by wood biomass in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s second largest city.

The €8.3 million loan will be provided to Banja Luka, the capital of Republika Srpska, for the acquisition of an equity stake in Eko Toplane d.o.o, the newly established district heating company which is the builder, owner and operator of the new facility.

“We are very proud to sign this agreement with the city of Banja Luka today,” said Ian Brown, head of the EBRD in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“It is a pioneering approach that combines financial and ecological considerations. It will demonstrate that commercially sound and environmentally friendly operations are not only possible, but indeed represent the way forward. It can demonstrate the key role of the private sector in delivering services for the public. We also thank the UN for their support with this project.”

Bosnia and Herzegovina suffers from particularly high energy intensity, according to a statement from EBRD, due to a high proportion of expensive and polluting heavy fuel oil in the energy mix and untapped resources in terms of energy savings and efficiency. It’s hoped that the introduction of a biomass-powered plant will showcase the potential for sustainable and greener generation of energy for the economy and consumers.

EBRD’s Green Energy Transition approach aims to raise its investment in green energy to more than 40% of annual business investment by 2020. The bank claims to be ‘well on track’ to achieving this target.

The goal of the Green Cities Framework is to achieve significant environmental improvements and promote the green transition quality within selected cities. It combines investment with capacity-building and facilitates coordination among stakeholders. For each participating city a specific Green City Action Plan is being developed and implemented.

Igor Radojičić, the Mayor of Banja Luka, said: “With this project the city is resolving one of its biggest infrastructure problems – reliable and sustainable district heating. It will also considerably reduce air pollution. But we do not stop here. We are working on a number of new projects to improve utility services in Banja Luka. I would like to thank the EBRD for the excellent support on this project. I hope that we will manage to expand our cooperation in near future.”

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