Moldova: Turning around the district heating in Chisinau

Benefits

  • CO2 emissions reduced by 35 thousand t / year.
  • Thermal energy losses reduced from 360 to 333 thousand Gcal / year
  • 30% drop in disconnection time for network repairs

Challenge

The district heating company in Moldova’s capital, Chisinau, was on the verge of bankruptcy, having lost many clients and acquired huge historic debts to the gas supplier. Its inefficient network has not undergone any technical modernization in the last 30 years.

Summary

Under the District Heating Efficiency Improvement Project, financed by the World Bank in 2015 and implemented with the Government of Moldova, a new company (Termoelectrica JSC) was set up with the objective to improve the district hearing system’s operational efficiency and financial viability. Improvement of the quality and reliability of district heating services provided to the population of the capital city was another key aim.

The project consisted of:

  • The reconstruction of three pumping stations and the construction of a new one
  • Heat networks replacement and construction of a new network using 40 km of pre-insulated pipes
  • Installing more 450 individual heating stations
  • Equipping pump motors with variable speed control systems to save energy and replacing mains pumps at one combined heat and power plant and the heat only boiler station

Today, Termoelectrica delivers annually about 1 300 thousands Gcalof thermal energy for heating and domestic hot water preparation in about 5000 buildings and supplies the national power system annually with 650 million kWh of electricity or 15% of the total consumption of Moldova.

Finance

The project was supported by a World Bank loan in the amount of 40,500,000 US dollars.

Results

Technological optimization

  • Increasing the efficiency of cogeneration by putting the power and heat powerplant (CET)  2 into operation during the summer and taking over the maximum possible thermal load by CET 1 during the winter
  • Using the most efficient production capacities and avoiding mass disconnection of consumers by applying flexible schemes for the operation of thermal networks
  • Reducing thermal energy losses from 360 to 333 thousand Gcal / year, resulting in reducing CO2 emissions by 35 thousand t / year.

Quality improvement

  • Domestic hot water delivered non-stop, without interruption during summer
  • Reduced consumer disconnection time for remedies and repairs of heat networks by 30%
  • Systematic adjustment of the Centralised heat supply’s operating parameters
  • Doubled the number of automated connections
  • Installed autonomous district heating systems in 57 residential buildings
  • Developed a corporate communication strategy and client orientated policy

Next steps

Moldova’s Second District Heating Efficiency Improvement Project is underway.  A new loan of €92 million was signed in July 2020 by the Moldovan Government and the World Bank. The project will enable Termoelectrica to provide more efficient services to the population through installation of new fuel-efficient cogeneration equipment and the reconstruction and modernization of existing heat and power generation facilities. Additionally, the project will finance demand-side energy efficiency and energy conservation investments in selected public and residential buildings.