SARAJEVO (Bosnia and Herzegovina), June 29 (SeeNews) – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said it is extending a 10 million euro ($11.7 million) loan to help the hospital in Bosnia's Zenica save energy and improve services for over 300,000 patients each year.
The loan will be complemented by a one-million euro investment grant by the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF), under the Regional Energy Efficiency Programme (REEP), with the aim to help address air pollution in one of the most affected cities in Bosnia, the EBRD said in a statement earlier this week.
Zenica is one of the largest and most polluted cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The city’s hospital was built in 1959, has a capacity of 950 beds and employs around 1,600 staff, who serve more than 300,000 patients a year.
The hospital has not seen any major refurbishment since its opening.
The funds provided by EBRD and WBIF donors will meet the most urgent investment needs, including improvements to the building envelope (wall/roof insulation and door/window replacement), the installation of energy efficient gas-fired boilers (to replace the current polluting lignite-fired ones), rehabilitation of the heat distribution system and introduction of adequate central ventilation and cooling systems, the EBRD said.
The works will also include the construction of a 2,800 sq m energy efficient extension to provide adequate space for all hospital departments. It will also introduce a new drainage system to tackle flooding attributed largely to the effects of climate change.
The investments, together with comprehensive energy efficiency measures, will result in energy savings of more than 60% and the reduction of CO2 emissions by up to 80%.
The REEP programme is a joint initiative of the European Union, bilateral donors and beneficiary countries cooperating under the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF).
The Zenica authorities have additional plans to tackle the climate and environmental challenges of the city, the EBRD said. Zenica is cooperating with the EBRD to develop a Green City Action Plan with support from Austria. The plan will identify, prioritise and address Zenica’s most pressing environmental challenges.
It is the first such action plan in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with two more to follow in Sarajevo and Banja Luka. The wider Green Cities Programme builds on the EBRD’s two decades of experience investing in municipal and environmental infrastructure.