Revitalizing and Transforming CHP Plants

The Chernihiv region was the initial target of Russian aggression during the invasion. Strategic enterprises were the primary focus of the Russian troops. In the spring of 2022, the Chernihiv CHP plant, a crucial provider of heat, light, and hot water to residences and industrial enterprises, was damaged by shelling.

The Rescue of the CHP Plant

Despite the adversity, the plant’s staff displayed courage and attempted to preserve the enterprise for the region. However, due to the destruction of communications and administrative and technical facilities by Russian missiles, energy production had to be partially halted.

The company, which had leased the plant for 23 years, lacked the resources to fully restore the CHP plant. With the heating season looming, critical decisions were needed to rescue the plant and ensure heating for the residents.

Local authorities sought state support and involved the community and international partners. The leaseholder returned Chernihiv CHP plant to the city ahead of schedule, and the city established a utility company, Teplocomunenergo, to oversee it. The company now has complete economic control over the plant.

Teplocomunenergo was tasked with preparing for the heating season promptly, repairing the damaged thermal power plant equipment, and operating efficiently despite significant damage. It also needed to secure additional funding.

Prioritizing the safety of the CHP plant and its employees, Teplocomunenergo proposed to refurbish the bomb shelters and equip one with a remote control point. This would allow everyone to continue working in the shelter during an alarm.

Preparations for the 2023-2024 heating season were intense, according to Oleksiy Shcherbyna, advisor to the mayor of Chernihiv. The utility company obtained all necessary permits and implemented various technological measures to ensure the plant’s stable and efficient operation. However, Mr. Shcherbyna acknowledges that the threat to the energy infrastructure remains real and ongoing.

Newcomers Also Achieve Success

Teplocomunenergo is constantly exploring various avenues to bolster energy independence. When they discovered the Power Up! grant project offered by East Europe Foundation, they seized the opportunity to participate. Despite being a young utility company with no prior experience in such endeavors, their participation resulted in an immediate triumph.

The head of Teplocomunenergo fondly recalls the moment they received the good news during the Power Up! project’s information session. He said,

“We worked on the grant application as a team, united and diligently. We are all well aware that the combined heat and power plant was heavily damaged during the hostilities and needs modernization and significant investment.”

A working group was formed to develop the documentation, involving specialists from the repair and investment department, the production and technical department, and a leading specialist in international activities and investments.

He added,

“We were incredibly happy when our efforts brought results. This gives us new opportunities for development. And even more importantly, it gives us the confidence to scale further successes.”

Photo: East Europe Foundation team and partners during a meeting at the enterprise

The uninterrupted operation of CHP plants during a major war is vital for the region’s survival. To ensure smooth operation, it is imperative to adopt the latest technologies and use modern devices.

Photo: The repair process at the plant

Efficiency Expectations

The manager emphasizes the importance of careful equipment usage, maintenance, and timely repairs. With this in mind, the working group members developed a project for the competition aimed at not only increasing the energy efficiency of the enterprise but also restoring the damaged thermal insulation of the plant’s boiler unit. These measures are expected to enhance the future reliability of Chernihiv CHP plant.

The repairs will lead to a reduction in natural gas usage and a decrease in electricity consumption for auxiliary needs. The project is also significant for the local community as it will improve the city’s environmental situation.

In terms of quantifiable results, the following outcomes are anticipated:

  • Electricity savings for the plant’s operation: 531,216 kWh/year
  • Natural gas savings: 504 thousand m3 per year
  • Reduction of carbon dioxide emissions: 973.08 tons per year

Every member of the working group involved in the project feels like an architect of crucial changes. They understand that their contributions are shaping the future of their home region.

Utility companies underscore that the support of East Europe Foundation will help ensure a reliable and uninterrupted supply of heat, electricity, and hot water to homes and businesses in the Chernihiv region. They express their gratitude to the initiators and organizers of the grant competition for their assistance on this journey.

For Your Information

Under the Power Up! project, the Chernihiv-based utility company Teplocomunenergo will receive assistance in repairing the damaged equipment at the Chernihiv CHP plant. This project was conceived by East Europe Foundation with the aim of implementing energy efficiency measures across ten enterprises in the Sumy, Kharkiv, and Chernihiv Oblasts.

The Power Up! project is implemented within the program “Promotion of Energy Efficiency and Implementation of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive in Ukraine”, executed by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the governments of Germany and Switzerland.

Upon successful implementation of the Power Up! project, it is projected that the total annual energy savings for the chosen ten enterprises will reach a minimum of 3,000 MW/year.