The Icelandic engineering company Mannvit hf. has initiated a comprehensive pilot project in Bosnia and Herzegovina and has established a subsidiary in the country to support the initiative. Mannvit is one of the leading Nordic operators in the field of geothermal energy and hydropower and has extensive experience in developing power plants. The company also provides a range of other services in the context of renewable energy – with regard to biogas, biofuel, composting and waste management.
Mannvit is currently preparing geothermal tests to establish whether it will be possible to use geothermal energy to generate electricity in the region.The company will be analysing the geological conditions and attempting to localise a geothermal reservoir from where hot water can be extracted via springs and used for central heating in Banja Luka, the second-largest city in the country.
“If the pilot project proves successful as regards both the discovery of geothermal energy and attracting local investors, Mannvit will make a move onto the energy market in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” says Throstur Helgason, Project Manager at Mannvit.
Mannvit decided to carry out a feasibility study in Bosnia and Herzegovina having first charted potential market areas in Eastern Europe. Nopef granted financing for the feasibility study in 2010, and Mannvit has subsequently completed a time-consuming process in Banja Luka in order to implement a pilot project in the city.
Banja Luka currently provides its citizens with heat and hot water through the combustion of heavy oil, which generates high emissions of carbon dioxide. The city is one of many in Europe whose mayors signed a pledge initiated by the European Parliament in 2009 with the objective of reducing carbon emissions by 20% before 2020. Mannvits analyses, which indicated that the region should have the capacity to generate up to 50–100 MWth of energy, revealed that it would be feasible to extract and utilise geothermal heat as a source of energy instead of heavy oil. Investment in a geothermal heating plant could thus allow the local authority not only to reduce carbon emissions, but also to save significant sums of money.
Photo: Mannvit hf.