>@AB Vilniaus Šilumos Tinklai (VŠT)
© AB Vilniaus Šilumos Tinklai (VŠT)
  • The EIB is supporting the modernisation of heat distribution infrastructure in Vilnius to ensure residents have a more reliable heat supply, while also contributing to environmental protection.
  • A major part of the financing will be used to update and extend the district heating network and to construct a biomass boiler.
  • The investment will reduce heat loss and decrease CO2 emissions.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and AB Vilniaus Šilumos Tinklai (VŠT) have signed a long-term credit agreement of up to €43 million to finance the modernisation of Vilnius’ heating network. This will not only ensure that Vilnius residents have access to a more reliable heat supply, but will also contribute to environmental protection. The investment programme will help to improve energy efficiency and reduce the emission of greenhouse gases and other airborne pollutants.

Technically speaking, some 17 km of old pipelines will be replaced with modern, pre-insulated ones. Worn-out pipelines from the last century are currently causing major heat loss and increasing the risk of accidents. Additionally, 4 km of new pipelines will provide energy efficiency gains by connecting newly built houses and service buildings to the network.

As part of the project, a biomass combined heat and power plant with a capacity of 6 MWth and 2.6 MWel will be installed together with a solar energy collector. VŠT will also install an absorption heat pump to increase the efficiency of the biomass boiler.

The whole investment is crucial to improving the security, energy efficiency and flexibility of heat supply, and meeting existing and future demand for heat and hot water. VŠT owns over 741 km of pipelines in Vilnius and provides 2 752 GWh of heat per year, 1761 GWh of which is self-generated.

EIB Vice-President Thomas Östros commented: “VŠT is working hard on making its network more sustainable, while also expanding its reach to even more homes. In line with the green recovery and the European Investment Bank’s own energy lending policy, we are glad to financially support this project, which will directly benefit some 200 000 households in Vilnius.”

VŠT Chief Executive Officer Gerimantas Bakanas said: “The modernisation and expansion of the network is an important step for the company in the long term. We are happy that the approach to energy efficiency and environmental protection correlates with that of the EIB — due to this investment, we can fundamentally modernise Vilnius. Moreover, this contract will allow the financing of lower value projects and repairs that will make our work “greener” and more sustainable.”

Vilnius Šilumos Tinklai is Lithuania’s largest provider of heating and hot water, servicing over 210 000 households and businesses in the capital. Operating a heating network that spans over 740 km, they are responsible for heating 20 million m2 of space.