July 24, 2018 / 1:29 PM / a year ago

Croatia's HEP secures loans to upgrade Zagreb plant

ZAGREB, July 24 (Reuters) - Croatia’s HEP will upgrade its combined heat and power plant near Zagreb to improve district heating and lower greenhouse gas emissions using 130 million euros ($152 million) in loans, the banks involved said on Tuesday.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) are providing the capital.

HEP plans to install two low nitrogen oxides gas turbines, two heat recovery steam generators and one back pressure steam turbine producing heat and power at the plant, they said.

The new combined cycle gas turbine units will generate 150 megawatts (MW) of electrical energy and 114 MW of thermal energy.

They will replace obsolete, mostly heat-only, gas and oil-fired units and will therefore help HEP lower its greenhouse gas emissions.

This “will improve the quality of life of the citizens of Zagreb by reducing pollution levels and ensuring reliable supply to the city’s district heating network,” EIB Vice President Dario Scannapieco said in a statement.

Croatia, the European Union’s newest member, imports 40 percent of its electricity needs, around 40 percent of its gas and up to 80 percent of its oil.

It currently has 4,500 MW of installed power generation capacity.

State-run HEP controls 85 percent of its electricity market.

$1 = 0.8546 euros Reporting by Maja Zuvela in Sarajevo; editing by Jason Neely

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