Brasov. The first Bepco thermal units were inaugurated. Transylvania Express, 02.11.2010.

Today, the first two Eco Heat-Bepco units were inaugurated, producing heat and electricity in cogeneration. As a result, the people from South Braşov Platform, which remained connected to the supply district heating system, have hot water and heat, after a period of nearly four months as Metrom CAF was stopped by the gas supplier.

CAF was decommissioned and 4,000 apartments in nearby Noua, Răcădău and part of the neighborhood Astra (Metrom-Carpatilor) are fed by the units of Eco Heat-Bepco, which are located in the district of Noua and on the Metrom industrial platform.

The two units, each with 3 MWh heat engine and one 10 Gcal boiler, represents the first phase of the Eco Heat-Bepco project. The Bepco project began in association with Eco Heat, who also mounted a 1 KWh heat engine on the Metrom platform, in 2009.

The new company, Bepco SRL, (which holds 90% of Eco Heat), with which Braşov’s City Council has signed  a cooperation protocol to produce cogenerated heat and electricity, will install a total of seven engines that will produce heat using gas installations, in addition to electricity and heat for hot water for Braşov’s citizens connected to the central system.

They are coupled with hot water boilers (CAF’s), to cover the difference of thermal energy required for hot water in the winter load peaks.

In the second stage of the project, Eco Heat-Bepco will build five such units in neighborhoods on the Bartholomeu and Astra CET platforms, in the second half of 2011. The total investment amounts to 22 million, and the costs will be covered entirely by Eco Heat- Bepco. In subsequent years, the whole system of thermal energy production will become private.

In the north of the city (ie. close to CET) are five cogeneration engines of 4 MWh (which will produce electricity and heat) and two hot water boilers of 25 Gcal. Production capacity will be provided by CET for now and the system will be restarted by the end of the week, but only for those who have no debts.

CET Braşov manager, Florin Cuţitei, said that 25 of the 30 block heating units are running at capacity, the other five being stopped for debt.

Homeowners associations have debts of 14.7 million lei at the CET and in turn the company reached almost 10 million lei debt to the gas supplier, which is why it stopped the fuel delivery since July.

CET made an effort and paid half the debit, to get the gas and restart production sources of heat. “Half was paid out of the total debt of 10 million lei to GDF Suez, for the remaining half of the amount we obtained a debt restructuring. Thus, 2.4 million lei will be paid by December 2010 and the remaining 2.6 million will be paid by May 2011 “.

To the 4,000 subscribers to the new heat system, new contracts will be signed next month as new associations and individual contracts, allowing disconnection in case of default, only to those who paid their bills. “All the installations work with methane gas so much pollution is reduced, and the efficiency is 85%. Our subscribers must understand that if the bill will not be paid in time, we will not succeed, in turn, to pay for gas, and the circuit will close. Together with the City Hall we are looking for a formula that will not affect everyone when a customer doesn’t pay, trying to isolate him up to the apartment,” said Eco Heat-Bepco manager, BogdanBanu.

Through Eco Heat-Bepcoinvestition the production price for 1 Gcaldroped from 250 lei to 150lei but the distribution network is so oversized and losses are so large, that the sale price still reach 360 lei, of which 170 lei represents grant awarded by the City Council and the Government.