The Regional Office of the Olomouc Region has begun assessing a project by Veolia Energie ČR aimed at greening the operation of the Olomouc Heating Plant. As can be read in the EIA management documentation, the investor is counting on the reconstruction of the K5 lignite boiler for burning treated municipal waste and biomass. He is also considering the acquisition of new technologies – electric boilers or energy storage.
This investment follows on from the first phase of decarbonisation of the Olomouc Heating Plant, which took place in 2022 and 2023. Thus, the black coal boiler K3 for burning natural gas was reconstructed. The second K5 boiler operated here is to switch to burning solid alternative fuel based on municipal or industrial waste by 2030 at the latest. To a lesser extent, it should also burn wood chips and agrarian biomass.
The changes also concern the second heating source in the Central Moravian metropolis – the top heating plant. The investor plans to shut down two older heating oil boilers and replace them with a new gas boiler with an output of 50.5 MWt, which will be supplemented by a turbine with an output of 12 to 20 MWe. So far, without further details, the announcement mentions the possibility of investing in an electric boiler, battery storage or a hot water low-pressure heat accumulator.
The heating plant of Veolia Energie ČR covers roughly 40 percent of the heat needs in Olomouc, supplying 29,460 households. The history of heat supply through a centralized system here dates back to 1951, the main fuel was traditionally coal. Between 1997 and 2000, the Olomouc heating plant was modernized for 1.8 billion crowns. Another 662 million crowns were subsequently invested in the transition of the steam system to hot water.
The Veolia Energie Group is the largest distributor of heat in the Czech Republic. It supplies heat and hot water to 580,000 households through one of the largest district heating networks in Central Europe, with a length of 793 kilometers. It also supplies energy to more than 300 industrial enterprises and 1,800 other customers, such as hospitals, schools and the like. It also offers electricity and gas supplies or services in the area of reducing energy consumption for customers (EPC contracts).
Veolia Energie ČR is investing in the gradual replacement of coal in its heating plants. It was the first to start decarbonization in Přerov, Frýdek-Místek and Kolín, followed by the transition from coal to burning solid alternative fuels (TAP) in Teplárna Karviná. The largest energy source, Elektrárna Ostrava-Třebovice, will be the last to switch from coal to other fuels, as Jakub Tobola, commercial director of the Veolia group, said in an interview with Ekonomický deník.