Croatia's HEP Starts Operations At New Cogeneration Power Plant Unit

The EL-TO Zagreb cogeneration plant, prior to the addition of Blok L, had a capacity of 50 MW for electricity and 200 MW for heat.

Croatia's HEP Starts Operations At New Cogeneration Power Plant Unit

In a significant step towards sustainable energy, Croatia’s state-owned power utility, Hrvatska Elektroprivreda (HEP), has successfully launched operations at its new high-efficiency unit at the cogeneration power plant Elektrana-Toplana Zagreb (EL-TO Zagreb), located in the country’s capital.

Representing HEP’s largest investment in new generation capacities in the past decade, this innovative unit underscores Croatia’s commitment to modernizing its energy infrastructure.

Cutting-Edge Cogeneration Power Plant Unit at EL-TO Zagreb

The newly operational unit, named Blok L, comes with a price tag of EUR 140 million and boasts a substantial capacity of 150 MW for electricity and 114 MW for heat. This state-of-the-art facility aims to replace outdated units, significantly reducing emissions of CO2, sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter.

The EL-TO Zagreb cogeneration plant, prior to the addition of Blok L, had a capacity of 50 MW for electricity and 200 MW for heat. The integration of this advanced unit is expected to elevate both efficiency and sustainability, addressing environmental concerns associated with older infrastructure.

Successful Start-Up Signals Promising Future

HEP has confirmed the successful initiation of the first gas turbine in Blok L, marking a crucial milestone in the commissioning process. The upcoming trial run, scheduled for the spring of the following year, will provide essential insights into the unit’s performance and functionality.

The first phase of functional testing will extend until December 22, with the first generator of Blok L anticipated to be connected to the power grid in the coming week. This achievement underscores HEP’s commitment to embracing cutting-edge technology to enhance the country’s energy landscape.

Enhancing Stability and Sustainability

Blok L is poised to play a pivotal role in fortifying the stability of Croatia’s power system. Moreover, it will contribute to the long-term security of heat supply to approximately 80,000 residents in the western part of Zagreb, in addition to supplying industrial steam to businesses in the region.

Fueled exclusively by natural gas, Blok L is strategically designed to replace outdated units at EL-TO Zagreb, ensuring a substantial reduction in emissions of CO2 and pollutants. This transition is crucial in aligning with Croatia’s sustainability goals and fostering cleaner energy production.

Environmental Impact and Emission Reductions

The projected average output of Blok L is estimated to prevent the release of approximately 150,000 tons of CO2 annually. Furthermore, the implementation of this advanced unit will result in a noteworthy reduction in emissions – SO2 by 95%, nitrogen oxides by 57%, and particulate matter by an impressive 84%.

Notably, the reduction in natural gas consumption by 25%, facilitated by Siemens technology with a 90% efficiency rate, aligns with broader energy efficiency objectives. The innovative features of Blok L showcase HEP’s dedication to adopting sustainable practices in energy production.

Financial Backing for a Sustainable Future

Financed primarily through loans from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and commercial banks, along with support from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and guarantees from the European Fund for Strategic Investments, the project exemplifies collaborative efforts towards a greener and more resilient energy infrastructure.

Frane Barbarić, President of the Management Board of HEP, emphasizes the project’s significance for both HEP and Croatia. Beyond enhancing energy independence, the modernization of EL-TO Zagreb contributes to economic growth and aligns with Croatia’s commitment to a sustainable and secure energy future.

Croatia’s largest energy producer, HEP, has invested in a new cogeneration unit as part of its strategy to transition to a more sustainable energy mix. The company is also investing in renewable energy sources like solar and wind power.

HEP’s successful activation of the Blok L cogeneration power plant unit marks a significant milestone in Croatia’s sustainable energy journey, demonstrating the integration of advanced technology in the nation’s power infrastructure.