Sweden and the Government of the Sarajevo Canton are allocating 2.9 million BAM for the replacement of coal and other solid fuels powered furnaces

September 13, 2021

Due to the great interest of citizens for subsidies for the replacement of furnaces, the Ministry of Communal Utility Economy, Infrastructure, Spatial Planning, Construction and Environmental Protection of the Sarajevo Canton and Sweden are allocating equal shares of a total of 2.9 million BAM to replace coal and other solid fuels powered furnaces.

The goal is to reduce air pollution in the Sarajevo Canton, in particular in settlements where the dominant sources of pollution are solid fuel furnaces.

In this regard, today, the Minister of Communal Utility Economy, Infrastructure, Spatial Planning, Construction and Environmental Protection of the Sarajevo Canton, Enver Hadžiahmetović and UNDP Resident Representative in BiH Steliana Nedera signed an Agreement on the implementation of the project to increase energy efficiency by means of subsidizing the replacement of existing coal and other solid fuels powered furnaces with certified furnaces and heat pumps in households in the Sarajevo Canton.

UNDP will implement activities within the “Green Economic Development” project funded by Sweden.

The signing of the Agreement was attended by Edin Forto, Prime Minister of the Sarajevo Canton, Johanna Strömquist, Ambassador of Sweden to BiH and Eva Smedberg, Director of the Department for Development Cooperation at the Embassy of Sweden in BiH.

Prime Minister Forto thanked the partners - the Government of Sweden and UNDP for deciding to start the implementation of projects aimed at reducing air pollution with the Canton.

Prime Minister Forto said: “At the beginning of 2019, in the first part of our mandate, we wanted to take quick steps regarding air quality protection and environmental protection in the Sarajevo Canton, and our partners reacted immediately and helped us work on improving heat insulation of public buildings. We improved heat insulation of 46 public buildings, which is 7-8 times more than our predecessors did”.

He also added that what was done in the second part of the mandate of this Government, as Minister Hadžiahmetović insisted, was an increase in the number of such projects.

Prime Minister Forto announced: “The Swedish government will invest the same amount for every convertible mark that we invest. We will continue to work even harder to provide as much money as possible in the budget for such projects.“.

According to the currently available information, about 30,000 households in the Sarajevo Canton use coal and other solid fuels for heating, and the largest number of individual furnaces is located in the municipalities of Novi Grad Sarajevo, Ilidža and Ilijaš.

Johanna Strömquist, Sweden’s Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina, also said that Sweden was pleased to work with the Sarajevo Canton Government and the UNDP to reduce air pollution in Sarajevo.

Ambassador Strömquist said: “We know that air pollution causes premature death of almost 3,300 people a year in Bosnia and Herzegovina.”

This project will also subsidize the purchase and installation of certified solid fuels (firewood and pellets) furnaces and boilers and heat pumps (the type of heat pump will be determined depending on the conditions at a specific building), which will reduce air pollution, and energy consumption for heating and heating costs for citizens.

After signing the agreement, Minister Hadžiahmetović also expressed his sincere gratitude to the Government of Sweden and the Ambassador of this friendly country, her Excellency Mrs. Strömquist, for active participation in the implementation of this project of extreme importance for the Sarajevo Canton.

Minister Hažiahmetović explained: “I would also like to thank UNDP representatives, who are great partners. We started with one pilot project worth BAM 550,000. However, due to the great interest and about 2,500 applicants, we decided to search for partners to co-finance its expanded implementation.“. He also added that about 800 applicants from the previous public invitation met the required conditions.

He also pointed out that the mentioned provided funds will enable around 600 applicants to replace furnaces and heat pumps and to have a new modern and standardized way of heating their homes as early as November.

The Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Program in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ms. Steliana Nedera said: “In the Sarajevo Canton, especially in its settlements on the slopes of the hills and suburban settlements, solid fuel furnaces, especially those using coal, are the ones mostly used to heat houses, with a seasonal efficiency below 50%, which is extremely inefficient. Certified furnaces that will be installed under this subsidy project will have efficiency above 77%, which is in line with the requirements that EU countries put before their inhabitants.“.

We also remind you that the Green Economic Development Project is dedicated to creating conditions for investments in increasing the energy efficiency of public buildings in order to achieve budget savings, increase the number of “green jobs”, improve user comfort and reinvest savings, which contributes to economic progress, and environmental protection.