The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have agreed to provide €130m in loan for the modernisation of electricity and heat supply in Zagreb, capital of Croatia.


Image: EBRD and EIB finance combined heat and electricity project in Croatia. Photo: Courtesy of The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

While EBRD will provide €130m loan for the project, EIB will offer €43m. A key feature of the financing is that the EIB loan will be guaranteed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), which is the central pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe (Juncker Plan).

The modernization project will be implemented at Elektrana-toplana Zagreb, a power plant fully owned and operated by HEP Group.

EIB vice president Dario Scannapieco said: “This innovative operation supported by the EIB, the Investment Plan for Europe and the EBRD will improve the quality of life of the citizens of Zagreb by reducing pollution levels and ensuring reliable supply to the city’s district heating network. It will help reach efficiency targets and provide a source of electricity from highly efficient cogeneration.”

The loan will be used for the installation of two low-NOx gas turbines, two heat recovery steam generators and one back pressure steam turbine that will produce heat and electricity at the Elektrana-toplana combined heat and power (EL TO CHP) plant close to the centre of Zagreb.

The new combined cycle gas turbine units will have a capacity of 150MW of electrical energy and 114MW of thermal energy, with lower greenhouse gas emissions.

These units will be fuelled by low-emission gas, and generate electricity for the grid and heat for district heating in north-western Zagreb and they will replace the old and obsolete and mostly heat-only, gas and oil-fired units.

This project is expected to be critical in Zagreb’s energy infrastructure and the investment is expected to ensure that modern and environmentally friendly project is being implemented, which will meet all national and EU environmental standards.

European Commission Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness vice president Jyrki Katainen said: “As the EU transitions to a cleaner and more sustainable economy, it is crucial that we replace older, polluting power plants with climate-friendly versions. This is precisely what this project will do: generate electricity for residents of Zagreb in a more sustainable way.”