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EU / IPA Successful projects
"Central heating TELETERM" Interview with Dr. Vladimir Taleski, Mayor of Bitola Municipality

Informed citizens and exchange of experiences with the partners from the Republic of Greece , preparation of the technical study through which the capacities of the potential beneficiaries of the central heating system ( primary and secondary schools , kindergartens , public institutions )are defined, by using the thermal energy from the thermal power station REK Bitola on the territory of the Municipalities of Bitola and Novaci and to determine the route of the hot water pipe network on the territory of the both municipalities. Households would have to decrease the heating cost more than half in terms of cost they pay if they use heating oil or the electrical power ( to decrease 56 % if they use heating oil , 52 % if they use electrical power and 43 % If they use fuel oil ). The heating cost for households from the district heating will be for 15 % cheaper than the heating with pellets, and roughly equal to the wood heating.
The business subjects including all public institutions would reduce their costs for ~ 40 % if they use oil, and 20 % if they use fuel oil.
Also, significant experience of the partners from Greece was the way of connecting the heating system and the measurement of the energy consumed in households, especially in the individual buildings where not all tenants want to join the system.

SEA: How did you get information about the Call for project proposals from IPA Cross Border Cooperation Program between the Republic of Macedonia and the Republic of Greece? Are the Calls for project proposals sufficiently transparent?
VT: The Information about all EU calls Bitola Municipality receives directly by EU Info Point in Bitola Municipality which is in direct connection with the EU Info Centre at the Delegation of the European Union in Skopje. So, Bitola Municipality despite the fact that is regularly informed about calls from IPA Cross Border Cooperation program, the municipality, also mediates in organizing info sessions for the calls.

SEA: How did you get the idea to apply for such a project? Do you need any institutional assistance when applying?
VT: The project for district heating of the region with thermal energy from the thermal power station REK Bitola begins with the construction of the REK Bitola itself. By realizing this project, by means of researches made and technical studies prepared, the need and justification of both economic and environmental protection once again were confirmed for faster construction of a system for thermal energy power from the REK Bitola.
In preparing the application despite the staff from the municipal administration and external experts were also included.

SEA: How did you find a partner from the Republic of Greece to do a joint project and did you come across some difficulties in the search for a partner?
VT: Bitola Municipality has already had great experience in the preparation of the application and implementation of projects supported by EU funds. In some of the projects realized in the past some Greek municipalities have already participated, and the results have had great benefits for both sides.
In this regard, we can conclude that Bitola Municipality has good long-term cooperation with several municipalities in the Republic of Greece, and therefore we didn’t come across any problem in seeking a partner. The interest in cooperation is great, good communication positively acts, both in the case of the projects agreement and their implementation.

SEA: Who are your partners in this project?
VT: In this project Bitola Municipality participated as the project leader and Municipality of Novaci from the Republic of Macedonia, while our partner from the Republic of Greece is DETEPA-a municipal enterprise for district heating of the broader region of Amintio.

SEA: For which priority axis of the Call for project proposals did you apply?
VT: The "Teleterm" project was under the second Priority Axis of the first call for project proposals, which belongs in the Section of promotion and protection of the natural and the cultural heritage in the region.

SEA: What was like the cooperation with your partner from the Republic of Greece?
VT: Initiative, exceptional cooperation and great results. These are the phases that followed the implementation of the project from its start to finalization of the project activities. We are satisfied by the mutual experience and the results achieved, so Bitola Municipality decided to apply again with the same partner in the next call.

SEA: How many people were involved in the project?
VT
: Directly involved in the project were three people from the Bitola Municipality, one person from Novaci Municipality and one person from DETEPA-Aminteo, Republic of Greece. However, during the project implementation there was a major involvement of other subjects, employees from the municipal administration and other experts in this field. This way of functioning positively affected the increase of the knowledge and experience, their exchanges and certainly the end result or the benefit from the realized project.

SEA: What is the total budget of the project?
VT: The total project budget is 267,332.00 EUR, out of which to the Bitola Municipality 105.000,00 EUR and to the Municipality Novaci 62.000,00 EUR had been awarded and to DETEPA-RG 100.000,00 had been awarded.

SEA: What did you achieved with your project?
VT: The initial goal of the project was to transfer knowledge and experience for central heating from Aminteo to Bitola and Novaci.
Besides achieving this goal, a greater awareness of the benefits from the installation of central heating for both households and producers of vegetables products has been enabled for the citizens of both municipalities Bitola and Novaci. The project showed that the burning of brown coal can be more effective if the production of electricity is combined by using the heating from these boilers.
During the project implementation, involvement of all professional experts in the preparation of the studies and in the contacts with partners from Aminteo has been enabled.
Achieving these aims is a good indicator for all of us, enabling specific targeting in a particular area with maximum knowledge of it. By bringing the information of the central heating to the citizens an opportunity is created about the benefits of this kind of the use of the thermal energy.

SEA: What is the effect of the cross border cooperation? What are the benefits for the Municipality from the implemented project?
VT: Besides informing the citizens and exchange of experiences with the partners from the Republic of Greece, one of the major benefits of this project is the preparation of the technical study through which the capacities of the potential beneficiaries of the central heating system ( primary and secondary schools , kindergartens , public institutions )are defined, by using the thermal energy from the thermal power station REK Bitola on the territory of the Municipalities of Bitola and Novaci and to determine the route of the hot water pipe network on the territory of the both municipalities. Households would have to decrease the heating cost more than half in terms of cost they pay if they use heating oil or the electrical power ( to decrease 56 % if they use heating oil , 52 % if they use electrical power and 43 % If they use fuel oil ). The heating cost for households from the district heating will be for 15 % cheaper than the heating with pellets, and roughly equal to the wood heating.
The business subjects including all public institutions would reduce their costs for ~ 40 % if they use oil, and 20 % if they use fuel oil.
Also, significant experience of the partners from Greece was the way of connecting the heating system and the measurement of the energy consumed in households, especially in the individual buildings where not all tenants want to join the system.
More information can be found on the website www.teletherm.info .

SEA: Are you satisfied with the implementation of the project?
VT: We had an excellent cooperation in the implementation of the project with all stakeholders who were directly or indirectly involved in the implementation, which confirms that the project fulfilled our expectations. The project itself, was just a base for collecting experiences and a way how to create central heating network in Bitola and Novaci.

SEA: Would you apply for a new project in another Call for project proposals?
VT: Bitola Municipality regularly follows the calls for project proposals, and the experience creates maximal readiness to apply for those projects that are in the interest of creating better living conditions for the citizens in our municipality.
Municipality of Bitola in the last call has already applied together with the Republic of Greece with four projects from different measures: human resources, tourism, environmental protection and the promotion and protection of the cultural heritage.

SEA: Could you reveal some specific challenge which you faced in the process of implementation of the project? (eg. co-financing, pre-financing)
VT: The good definition of all parameters and the complete readiness enabled not to face with such problems in the part of the financing as well as in the complete implementation of the project.

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