Interconnection of the DH network and a new biomass boiler

Location: Vinnytsia
Programme: SUDH
Project status: Pre-implementation
Investment: Approx. 3.5 MEUR
Payback period: Approx. 20 years
Reduced gas consumption: Approx. 4 million m3


Approx. 10 000 tonnes/year

Vinnytsia is the 12th largest city in Ukraine with approximately 370 000 inhabitants. It is located about 260 km South West of Kyiv. Vinnytsia is the centre of Vinnytsia oblast and an important cultural and economic centre.

The DH Company in Vinnytsia supplies heat to approx. 80 000 customers, and supplies domestic hot water (DHW) to approx. 49 000 customers. DH and DHW is provided during the heating season which in Vinnytsia lasts for 182 days.

The district heating and hot water supply system of Vinnytsia was built during the 1970-90s. It is a 4-pipe system with central heating substations (CHS). During the last decade, in order to reduce losses in the DH networks, improve the energy efficiency and the quality of DH and DHW services, the company has been actively installing IHSs at the connection points. At present, the company operates 390 IHSs. About 80 CHSs are still in operation, however the DH Company’s strategy is to continue with IHS installation in order to convert Vinnytsia DH system to modern demand-driven system.

Vinnytsia Demonstration Project

The proposed demonstration project concerns one of the DH networks in the central part of the city. It is proposed to interconnect smaller networks into a larger one, as well as install a new biomass boiler to produce base load of heating and domestic hot water (DHW) during summer time. As current DH networks have different temperature regimes, it is suggested to construct a heat exchanger station in an existing CHS building. Enlargement of DH networks will become an important step to further increase of sustainable fuels in the heating generation mix.

The ongoing feasibility study determines technical, environmental and financial feasibility of the project idea, as well as further clarifies the project composition.

Pre-study results

As a result of the pre-study, the following components of an investment project have been preliminarily identified for Vinnytsia:

  1. Construction of about 5 MW biomass boiler at optimal location near existing boiler house;
  2. Interconnection of DH networks (approx. 2 000m);
  3. Construction of a heat exchanger station to solve temperature scheme differences between the DH networks.

Budget for the measures above is estimated to approximately 3.2 MEUR. During the feasibility stage, the project can be enlarged by adding components that support conversion from 4-pipe system to 2-pipe system and creation of a demand driven DH system.

For these measures, hydraulic stability of the system as well as current condition of the DH pipes will be the core factors in determining priority for pipes replacement.

It is envisaged that the new biomass boiler will utilize (among other) clean biomass waste from one of local wood processing industries. This is a sustainable source of biomass as installation of the new boiler will not contribute to deforestation.

The project will lead to substitution of approximately 4 million m3 of natural gas, leading to about 10 000 tonnes CO2 reduction per year and other environmental benefits for the city.

The currently estimated payback is long (about 20 years). This is due to the significant decrease of gas price during the last year, as well as uncertainty associated with biomass prices. Shall the gas prices recover to e.g. 2019 levels, and the biomass prices remain at the current level, the project pay-back is estimated at 4 years.

Current status

The feasibility study has been approved by the Nefco Board of Directors, as well as by Vinnytsia DH Company and Vinnytsia City Council.