JSC "RĪGAS SILTUMS" has actively got involved in using the resources offers by the European Union (EU) structural funds. During the time perio from 2009 to 2014 nine project applications were prepared and submitted to the Latvian Investment and Development Agency and successfully implemented afterwards by attracting the co-financing of the European Union Cohesion Fund in the amount of above 14 million EUR.
Most of them were implemented within the framework of the Cabinet Regulation No.824 (31 August 2010) „Regulations on the operational program "Infrastructure and services” addendum subactivity 188.8.131.52 „Measures for improving efficiency of district heating systems" by performing reconstruction of DH main network and upgrading heat plants.
A new biofuel fired boiler with the heat capacity 20 MW was installed at the Heat Plant "Zasulauks" where also a biofuel storage and infrastructure connections were built.
By using the EU co-financing a lot of change has taken place at the heat plant "Vecmīlgrāvis" where three water heating boilers were replaced at the old boiler house by installing three new, automated water heating boilers, and in the new wood chips fired boiler house a successful solution for improving energy efficiency was the installation of a flue gas condensed for biofuel fired boilers allowing to use the condensation heat of flue gas and increasing the boiler efficiency rate by 15-25%.
Essential reconstruction works were also implemented at several sections of DH main network at Gaujas, Brīvības and Čaka streets and in Ķengarags district - at Maskavas, Ogres and Prūšu streets, by reconstructing totally 6.5 km of DH network. We are glad to see that the projects implemented with the EU co-financing during preceding years have provided positive results - old pipelines have been replaced with new, pre-insulated pipelines with considerably lower heat losses and they are also equipped with a special monitoring system which allows to find a damage location in a fast and accurate manner, they are also characterised by lower operational costs and longer service time, thus heat losses are decreasing year by year.
Within the framework of Cabinet Regulation No.165 (17 February 2009) „Regulations on the operational program "Infrastructure and services” addendum subactivity 184.108.40.206 „Development of cogeneration power plants using renewable energy resources", a new cogeneration power unit with the electrical capacity of 4MW and heat capacity up to 22 MW using wood chips as the fuel was constructed at the heat plant "Ziepniekkalns". These measures allowed reducing the heat rate, thus providing although little, still actual financial benefit for our customers.
The EU structural funds planning period 2007-2013 has been completed. The development and approval of documents of the operational program of the new planning period 2014-2020 on the level of the European Union Commission and Member States governments has been completed. In 2014 the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia approved the EU structural funds operational program "Growth and employment" where promotion of energy efficiency and use of local renewable energy resources in district heating is among the priority directions. Support is provided for both improvement of heat production efficiency and reduction of transmission losses by reconstructing DH networks, as well as the use of renewable energy resources.