The communist past has left its mark on the Balkan countries, leaving as a legacy the dilapidated infrastructure and highly energy dependant industries. Switching to greener and more sustainable energy resources turns out to be a real challenge with companies are often unaware of the opportunities and the financial benefits.
"Wood Master" and "Thermal Engineering" are two of many companies that WebSEFF has helped to reduce their energy bills and CO2 emissions.
"Wood Master" is an SME company in Western Balkans producing plum jam. Heating of jam requires large amount of energy, which can be expensive, while the plum stones are usually an undesired side product in this process. This was no longer true for Ivan Stojakovic, the owner of the company.
With the help of the EBRD he discovered the low-hanging fruit of energy savings. A €150,000 loan through WebSEFF allowed him to install a new biomass boiler system, fuelled by the mix of plum stones and pellets. Now, the plum stones keep the jam warm, while significantly decreasing the operations costs, and even heating his offices.
"This way we are saving energy, money and it is good for our environment", - says Mr Stojakovic, owner of Wood Master.
Another story is about furniture producer "Thermal engineering", a company that faced difficult times some years ago. Upgrading their production equipment brought the much needed energy savings.
Wood briquettes made from production by-products are now used for heating the factory. This reduced the energy costs by almost half. The compay managed to increase its production capacity, while keeing the energy consumption low. Additional thermal insulation of its buildings, window and lighting replacement helped the company save the jobs and had a positive influence on the firm's working environment.
Through WebSEFF the EBRD supports long-lasting economic and environmental changes in the region.