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EBRD approves €30mn loan to Serbia for renewable heat generation

The EBRD has approved a loan of up to €30mn to Serbia to finance investments in renewable heat generation, the organisation announced during EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso's visit to Belgrade on July 9.

Currently, Serbia's district heating systems are heavily reliant on fossil fuels and are notably energy inefficient. This project, the first of its kind in southeast Europe, aims to provide significant environmental benefits and boost energy security by reducing dependence on imported petrol products and natural gas.

"This ground-breaking project aims to transform district heating systems in Serbia," said Renaud-Basso. "Given Serbia's current dependence on fossil fuels and significant energy inefficiencies, this project promises substantial environmental benefits and enhanced energy security."

The project is expected to produce 115 GWh of renewable and waste heat per year, reducing annual carbon emissions by approximately 14,600 tonnes of CO2 equivalent, and achieving significant water and energy savings.

The project will be backed by donor-funded assistance amounting to €12mn, mobilised by the EBRD from the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, the EU, and the government of Austria. The Ministry of Mining and Energy will implement the project in cooperation with participating municipalities and district heating companies.

Investments will target district heating companies in Pancevo, Vrsac, Kraljevo, Nis, Bogatic, Becej, Krusevac, Novi Pazar, Paracin, and Kragujevac, integrating cutting-edge solar-thermal technology, heat pumps, and urban and industrial waste-heat.

The EBRD has now invested more than €9bn through 355 projects in Serbia, with a focus on supporting private-sector competitiveness, green-energy transition, and sustainable infrastructure.