Bjelovar to Explore Hidden Potential with New Project and Norwegian Money

Lauren Simmonds

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As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, after the Ministry of Regional Development approved the amount of 2 million kuna recently for the preparation of project documentation for a new geothermal well in Veliko Korenovo, even better news arrived for Bjelovar. The continental Croatian town also got the green light for the construction of the well itself.

The project, worth a total of 3.5 million euros, will be co-financed from the same source as the preparation of the documentation – from the “Energy and Climate Change” programme of the Ministry of Regional Development and EU funds, funded by the Kingdom of Norway, as reported by

”The total value of this project stands at 3.5 million euros, and the maximum amount that could be achieved through this tender is 1.5 million euros. We haven’t yet received confirmation that we’ve been approved in the full amount, but given that very few projects have applied for this tender, and ours is highly rated, we’re hoping for the best,” said Bjelovar Mayor Dario Hrebak.

In other words, there is a possibility that Bjelovar itself will provide almost half of the money for the investment in this tender, and Hrebak added that he isn’t afraid for the other half of the required amount. ”I believe that in the near future there will be more tenders for such projects, so I believe that we will find the required amount. This is a great investment, we’ll definitely realise it,” says Hrebak.

The project’s realisation could end up going faster than anyone could have expected, especially in Croatian terms.

”The conceptual project is already being completed, and I believe that we could have a building permit by the end of this year. This means that the construction of the well itself could be completed by the end of next year, and we’ve already been contacted by some potential investors,” announced Hrebak, who isn’t bothering to try to hide his overall satisfaction with the realisation of this extremely important project for Bjelovar.

”It’s important, especially in light of current global events when energy self-sufficiency is one of the key issues. The new well will be the foundation for the heating plant and the heating pipeline through which future spas should be heated, the business zone in Veliko Korenovo, the Bjelovar Fair and other facilities in that part of the city,” said Hrebak, adding that estimates are being made on the savings this investment will bring over time.

”We already know that this is going to result in really huge savings. By comparison, the 10-megawatt geothermal power plant at Ciglena produces 130 million kuna worth of electricity a year. We’re going to have a power of 4 megawatts in Veliko Korenovo, so we can also expect millions in energy savings,” said Hrebak.

Bjelovar started a serious examination of the well in Veliko Korenovo a little over one year ago in cooperation with experts from the Hrvoje Pozar Energy Institute and the Geotechnical Institute. Initial tests have already indicated the enormous potential of the well and that the water temperature at this place is much higher than that which will be used for the nearby spas. To speak more specifically, a water temperature of 70 degrees was measured at that location.

”We have information that in other parts of the city there are underground springs where the water temperature is between 70 and 100 degrees celsius. Bjelovar has a great geothermal potential that we definitely plan to utilise,” concluded Dario Hrebak.

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