The first joint energy-efficiency project in Moldova to be supported by Nefco and the Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership (E5P) has been signed to support the refurbishment of healthcare institutions in four major districts in the country: Floresti, Ialoveni, Nisporeni and Telenesti.
The maintenance and energy costs related to ageing healthcare buildings are constantly increasing, placing a heavy burden on municipal budgets and decreasing the ability of municipalities to cope with the continuing waves of the COVID-19 pandemic. The project will support energy-efficiency modernisations for a total of 11 buildings and includes the refurbishment of the district hospitals in Floresti, Ialoveni and Nisporeni, a polyclinic in Telenesti and several family doctors’ surgeries in all four districts.
A signing ceremony was arranged on 12 December at the Ministry of Infrastructure and Regional Development of Moldova in Chișinău with the participation of all districts, the project beneficiaries, Nefco, Sweden, E5P and the EU.
“This energy-efficiency project for public healthcare institutions is long-awaited. Maintaining public buildings, which are often very old, is expensive, and these refurbishments will help make them more energy efficient and reduce costs. As a result of this project, the 11 healthcare institutions covered will have lower maintenance costs in the future, allowing them to direct more of their budgets towards the development of medical services. We thank our external partners for their support of this programme. I believe that this project will be a starting point for us to consume energy much more responsibly, and that other institution will follow this example,” said Andrei Spînu, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Regional Development, at the signing event in Chișinău.
The project will have a significant impact on the districts, reducing energy consumption, decreasing pollution, improving the treatment facilities and indoor air quality, as well as reducing administrative costs as a result of decreased energy consumption, which will contribute to a positive long-term effect on the districts’ economies. It is expected that the annual heat savings will be about 60%, approx. 3,500 MWh, and annual electricity savings of about 30%, approx. 500 MWh, compared to the project baseline. The project will reduce CO2 emissions by approx. 840 tonnes, equivalent to the emissions from 348,547 litres of diesel. The renovated buildings will improve healthcare services for some 26,000 patients annually, and the total number of people who benefit will be approx. 26,500, including healthcare workers.
“We are very happy to be able to start the implementation of this demonstration programme and cooperate with the municipalities of Floresti, Ialoveni, Nisporeni and Telenesti to refurbish several healthcare institutions in these districts and at the same time increase awareness of possible energy-efficiency improvements for local decision-makers, healthcare workers and hospital staff, as well as patients and the general public in Moldova,” comments Vitaly Artyushchenko, Chief Investment Adviser at Nefco.
The total estimated investment cost of the project is EUR 2.1 million. In addition to Nefco loan financing of approx. EUR 1.3 million the project will receive a grant of EUR 620,000 from the Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership (E5P), to which the European Union and Sweden are the largest contributors, and local contributions from the four districts, totalling EUR 215,000. In addition, Sweden has contributed EUR 72,500 for technical assistance to support the project implementation.
“E5P donors are keen to support this first project with Nefco in Moldova to address the needs of regional communities, in particularly vulnerable groups. The energy-efficiency improvements to these healthcare institutions will ensure comfort and keep patients and medical staff warm in winter. The expected heat and electricity savings will also mean financial savings, which can be put towards improving the quality of care. The E5P donors expect that Nefco will build on the experience of this project and expand it further to other districts across Moldova,” comments Ewa Manik, Associate Director at E5P.
“The energy-efficiency modernisations to the healthcare institutions will allow patients to enjoy more comfortable rehabilitation environments and support the local authorities to save energy costs once the project is implemented. As the largest donor to the E5P fund, the European Union supports the renovation of both public and private buildings in line with the European Green Deal as a key initiative to drive energy efficiency and deliver on climate change objectives,” says Jānis Mažeiks, EU Ambassador to the Republic of Moldova.
The energy-efficiency measures to be implemented in the buildings will include the modernisation and renovation of the building envelopes; replacement of heating systems; insulation of heating pipelines, walls, floors and roofs; upgrading of ventilation systems; replacement of doors and windows; as well as modernisations to indoor lighting. The project will also include the installation of photovoltaic systems for electricity production to partly cover the buildings’ energy consumption. The measures will extend the lifetime of the refurbished buildings and support the implementation of similar projects in the future, as the chosen buildings are typical of current healthcare institutions in Moldova.
“Sweden initiated E5P in 2009. Our intention is to support the inclusive economic development and well-being of people in the regions of Moldova. The signed energy-efficiency project for the refurbishment of healthcare institutions contributes to this objective, and we are glad to support the project implementation together with the Moldovan national and regional authorities, Nefco and E5P,” comments Katarina Fried, Ambassador of Sweden to the Republic of Moldova.
The Energy Saving Credits (ESC) facility was launched in Moldova in 2019 to finance municipal investments in energy-saving measures in social facilities such as day-care centres, schools, hospitals and street lighting. Since 2010, Nefco has financed over 80 projects through the ESC facility, of which 2 have so far been implemented in Moldova. Together with E5P, Nefco has completed 34 energy-efficiency projects in Eastern Europe.
Text and foto credit: NEFCO