Interconnection of the DH network and a new biomass boiler

Location: Vinnytsia
Programme: SUDH
Project status: Pre-implementation
Investment: EUR 9.7 million
Payback period: 9 years
Reduced gas consumption: 5.6 million m3


11,000 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.

Vinnytsia’s district heating and hot water supply system was built during the 1970-90s. It is a 4-pipe system with central heating substations (CHS). During the last decade, to reduce losses in the DH networks and improve the energy efficiency and quality of DH and DHW services, the company has been actively installing IHSs at the connection points and converting the 4-pipe system to a 2-pipe system. 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 to convert Vinnytsia’s DH system to a modern demand-driven one.

Vinnytsia Demonstration Project

The proposed demonstration project concerns one area in the central part of the city. The proposal is for four small networks to be interconnected into a larger one and a new biomass boiler installed. The biomass boiler is designed to cover the total DHW demand during summer time and the baseload for the interconnected DH system the whole year around. As current DH networks have different temperature regimes, it is suggested that heat exchanger (HEX) stations be constructed in two existing CHS buildings. The interconnection of DH networks will become an important step to further increase sustainable fuels in the heating generation mix.

Proposed SUDH Investment Programme

As a result of the Feasibility Study, the following investment components have been identified for Vinnytsia:

  1. Biomass boiler and boiler house upgrade at M. Koshky Str.
  2. Interconnection of four heat supply areas
  3. Installation of 49 IHSs
  4. Heat exchanger stations at Kniaziv Koriatovychiv Str. 143 and Pyrohova Str. 73а

Investment Component 1: Biomass Boiler House

The existing two boiler houses are considered obsolete. The proposed project includes the following measures:

  • Complete reconstruction of the two boiler houses into one new boiler house
  • Installation of a woodchip boiler for production of the baseload demand for the interconnected DH system
  • Installation of new gas boilers

A biomass boiler capacity of 4.2 MW is proposed combined with an accumulator tank to cover peak demand during the non-heating season. The accumulator tank can also be used when heat demand is below the minimum boiler load. During the heating season, the biomass boiler will operate constantly at full capacity.

It is proposed that new condensing gas boilers be installed in combination with a new biomass boiler to cover the actual peak load. Based on this, three boilers of 12 MW each are proposed. Two of the boilers will operate at peak demand, while one will be a reserve (i.e. full reserve in case of failure of the largest unit).

Investment Component 2: Network Interconnection

To utilise the heat from the biomass boiler, interconnection of the four currently separate heating areas is proposed. The component for network interconnection includes about 3 km of new DH pipes.

Investment Component 3: IHS Installation

Installation of independent IHSs, i.e. IHSs with heat exchangers for both space heating and DHW, is proposed in all 49 buildings that are supplied with DH for both space heating and DHW, from the existing two boiler houses at M. Koshky Str.

Investment Component 4: HEX Stations

The temperature schemes for the two systems currently supplied from the boiler houses at Kniaziv Koriatovychiv Str. 143 and Pyrohova Str. 107 are not the same as for the main network supplied from the boiler houses at M. Koshky Str. and hence separation with heat exchangers is required. For the area supplied by the Pyrohova Str. 107 boiler house area, some additional measures, mainly replacement of DH and DHW pipelines and upgrade of an existing CHS, are proposed.

Table: Estimated savings per year

Investment component Gas savings, 1,000 m3 Electricity savings, MWh CO2 savings, tonnes/year
Biomass boiler 4,207 -162 8,052
Interconnection 171 213 502
IHS 986 186 2,066
HEX Stations 271 199 685
Total 5,634 436 11,306

Positive impact

First, the environmental benefits of the proposed project are emission reductions and improvement in air quality in the city. Emission reductions will be possible due to the utilisation of biomass; improved energy efficiency due to the reduction of heat losses and heat consumption; and the corresponding decrease in natural gas consumption. In turn, this will increase the reductions of СО2 and NOx emissions. The operation of the DH company will become more in line with European standards.

Second, social benefits include improvements in quality and reliability of the DH system and the creation of new workplaces, and improvements in working conditions, safety and labour protection.

Third, the utilisation of biomass and the interconnection of the four systems in central Vinnytsia will improve the supply of DHW to district heating customers all year round. The interconnection will also enable future use of additional biomass or waste heat sources. Interconnection in combination with the general upgrade of the M. Koshky Str. boiler house allows for heat supply from one boiler house instead of four during most of the year. IHS installation in combination with the upgrade of the heat exchanger stations at the two smaller boiler houses will enable a more demand-driven system and increase the comfort and service level for the customers. When a fully demand-driven system is established, the concept of the heating season should be phased out and heating made available all year round.

The project will make the DH system more flexible and the operation of the DH company more sustainable. It will improve the overall situation in the city and the quality of life of its residents.

Financing the project

The project will be financed following the conditions of the SUDH programme:

  • EUR 5 million loan from Nefco
  • EUR 1.5 million grant from Sweden
  • EUR 3.258 million contribution from Vinnytsia

With estimated yearly savings of EUR 1.06 million/year from implementing the project, the expected payback for the investment is about 9 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.