First geothermal power plant opened in Croatia

The first geothermal power plant in Croatia has been officially opened by the country’s environment and energy minister, Tomislav Coric and CEO of Turkish holding group MB Holding Muharrem Balat. The Velika 1 (Big 1) geothermal power plant in Ciglena near Bjelovar, which has a capacity of 16.5MW, is the largest power plant in continental Europe with binary technology.
First geothermal power plant opened in Croatia First geothermal power plant opened in Croatia First geothermal power plant opened in Croatia First geothermal power plant opened in Croatia First geothermal power plant opened in Croatia

Big 1 - the first geothermal power plant in Croatia has been officially opened

The Big 1 geothermal power plant has been in full production since March 2019 and has supplied almost all of Bjelovar with electricity. With its launch, 10 jobs were created in the local community and during the two-year construction period, about 15 local companies worked at the power plant.

The basic technology of the power plant is the product of Italy's Turboden and of the total investment value (HRK325 million (US$48 million)), more than 68 per cent was delivered in materials, equipment or services of domestic suppliers and contractors.

The importance of the project was emphasised by the deputy prime minister and minister of environment and energy, Tomislav Coric: "A project like this can only be built with a lot of enthusiasm and investment. The fact that more than HRK 300 million has been invested indicates how much investors believed in the project and how skilled this team is.

"Croatia is in the interest of every kilowatt, which is why projects like this need to have wider support. This project is also a proof that the Republic of Croatia is an example in terms of encouraging the development of new, clean energy sources and the application of new knowledge for the purpose of good management of natural resources.

"Our task is to establish a framework that will encourage investors to invest so that the potential of renewable energy sources will benefit us in the long term and create the basis of energy sustainability."

Coric added that he expected MB Holding would be interested in further meetings and new projects in the coming period. "It is certain that the premium model expected next year will contribute to the further growth and development of these projects, as well as to the development of other renewable energy projects.".

The envoy of the president of the Republic of Croatia and OIEH director, Maja Pokrovac, said: "Croatia can develop hundreds of megawatts and could even return to the map of turbine manufacturers and impose domestic resources and technologies in Europe. There is great export potential. The fact that neighbouring Hungary, which also has a strong geothermal potential, has so far a single 3.5MW geothermal power plant is a testament to our knowledge and readiness. This is proof that we can impose ourselves as a centre of development in this region."

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