Rēzekne plans to abandon gas for heating by end of year

Take note – story published 1 year ago

The city of Rēzekne plans to set up infrastructure by the end of this year to provide heat in the city using only renewable natural resources. A new woodchip boiler house built last year by a private investor has recently started work in part of the city. Another chip boiler house is underway, Latvian Radio reported January 10.

Currently, the tariffs on heat supply services in Rēzekne are the highest in Latgale. Although support is granted to  households, the rapid rise in heating prices is felt by all residents of Rēzekne City.

Until now, Rēzekne City had one of the lowest rates in the country, since cheap natural gas was used to produce heat. “Because we had a good natural gas supply contract. Then everyone knows what happened in the world, the economy and the gas market. Due to the costly natural gas, tariffs had to be increased,” said Rēzekne heating network board member Aldis Mežals. In order to mitigate the rapid increase in the tariff and to address the heating problems in the city, opportunities for new forms of heat production had to be sought. 

In Rēzekne, each of the three municipalities – Central District, Vipinga, and Northern District – has its own boiler house. The largest problems remained this year for the Central District, which is also the largest in Rēzekne in terms of customer numbers, and until now the heat could only be produced using natural gas and diesel. Last December, a new chip boiler house built by a private investor – the full company “Rez Nrj” started work in the Central District.

Juris Jaunzems, a representative of Rez Nrj, said they created the company specifically for this project. Around EUR eight million have been invested in the construction of the boiler house, and this month it is planned to be put into service, including the contractual amounts.

“We produce heat in test mode. Every now and then there are some technical problems that we are dealing with, regulating, correcting. I think it will be fine by the end of the month,” Jaunzems said.

Rēzekne Heat Networks Board member Aldis Mežals revealed that during this year the capital company, with the support of European Union funds, plans to build its own chip pot house for Rēzekne Central district: “Investor provides 50%, the other 50% we will provide.”

Rēzekne Heat Networks Ltd has submitted a new draft thermal energy tariff to the Public Service Regulator Commission, which is expected to be 29% lower in Rezekne from February 1 and reach EUR 151.90 per megawatt hour. It should be said at once that the city's population will only feel a reduction of about 5% in their purses. This is because the fall in the tariff will also lead to a reduction in the amount of State compensation.

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