NewsThe heating of Bijelo Polje is in the plan

The heating of Bijelo Polje is in the plan

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The heating plant is on the city’s agenda. Discussions about this have been ongoing in Bijelo Polje for a long time. Citizens hope to replace wood and pellets with the most modern heating system. It would be warmer, cheaper, and the air much cleaner and healthier.

The non-governmental organization “Bjelopolski demokratski centar” is actively working on solving the problem of air pollution. Measures have been proposed to reduce the emission of harmful gases, passing through local assembly and government procedures. Everyone agrees that a heating plant should be built.

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“In my opinion, this is the only solution that would solve the problem of air pollution in Bijelo Polje in the long run and, on the other hand, help citizens to provide their heating season in a quality way. So, I am sure that this project cannot be realized overnight; huge financial resources are needed, a lot of time is needed, the involvement of all institutions and even the government level to solve this problem,” says Zdravko Janjušević, director of the NGO “Bjelopolski demokratski centar,” to TVCG.

The municipal authorities also want to address the issue. They are in contact with international partners, discussing with the Ministry of Energy, and exchanging ideas.

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“One of the ideas is to go for the heating of Bijelo Polje, using ecological sources of energy. So, absolutely no oil, no coal, but essentially going for some kind of cogeneration of producing thermal and electrical energy from a kind of green forest waste. We wouldn’t harm the forests much, and on the other hand, we would get a cleaner living environment, and not only that, but we would unite it with some heat pumps, with cogeneration based on thermal sources that we have at Kisela Voda,” says Petar Smolović, the mayor of Bijelo Polje.

Foreign companies are interested in investments, and according to Smolović, there are potential investors, but there are also other ways to acquire the heating plant worth 25 million EUR.

“There are many European funds that give you 40, 50, up to even 70% non-refundable funds. But it is important for these potential investors to consider through feasibility studies that are in progress—we did some in 2015 with IBRD and some Austrian funds—to consider all possibilities. It’s not just about Bijelo Polje, but it’s also about the price of electricity at which they would have to sell that surplus produced electricity, as well as concessions. It’s a multidisciplinary project that needs to be harmonized at several local and state levels, as well as at the international level,” adds Smolović.

However, harmonizations can take time, but the mayor is encouraged that they have attracted the attention of people offering their capital for the construction of the facility.

“We have received several interested emails; we have forwarded all of that to the Ministry of Energy and we will form a joint group that will seriously deal with it. Now, it’s at the level of interest, based on the collection of information, serious feasibility studies are being done. This is a very serious and long-term project, and based on that, we only expect letters, interest, public tenders, etc.,” says Smolović.

He claims that there will be no obstacles and emphasizes that heating is a priority among projects, and the municipal authorities will advocate for the construction of the most modern heating plant because it is in the best interest of the citizens.

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