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A small Slovak village becomes a pioneer in biomass heating of public buildings and has the first DISPLAY poster in Slovakia


The BIOMASA Association is a non-profit organisation, whose members are mainly municipalities. Its activities include the promotion of biomass through the installation and operation of biomass boilers and the production of pellets. The BIOMASA Association has two members in Lubochna, a small spa village in central Slovakia. The first member is the health sanatorium at the National Endocrinology and Diabetology Institute (NEDI) and the second is the Municipality of Lubochna.

Since the end of 1990s, the sanatorium and the municipality have had to consider switching their heating fuel used for their inefficient heating systems because of the threat of insufficiency of light oil, which was the main energy source at that time. As the village is not connected to the gas grid, the only possible solution to this problem was to install a biomass heating system.

In 2004 the BIOMASA Association was developing a project for biomass heating of schools and health centres. Therefore Lubochna decided to take part in this project. At the same time, BIOMASA and the Municipality of Lubochna, as participants in the Display® campaign, started to produce Display® posters for schools and initiated an awareness raising campaign on energy saving issues, aimed at pupils and the town’s inhabitants.

The sanatorium building where the biomass boiler room is located

The school building in Lubochna, which is one of the buildings connected to the biomass boiler

Building details

Type of building
This project involved the installation of a biomass boiler heating system to serve 14 buildings including a school, a kindergarten, the municipal administrative building and several of NEDI’s buildings.

Year built/ Floor area/ Operating hours
The school building was erected in 1961 and its total floor area is 1,066 m2. It is open from Monday to Friday, 55 hours per week, from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Heating and cooling installed
A small biomass district heating system

Energy label/ CO2 emissions
The Display® poster for the school for 2004, after the biomass project was implemented, rated the energy consumption and CO2 emissions as class B and the water consumption as class F.




The Municipality of Lubochna wanted to improve the energy performance of the school building in their village and they were planning to apply for financing from the ‘Structural and Cohesion Funds’ for a total renovation of the building (note: the Structural and Cohesion Funds are the European Union’s main instruments for supporting social and economic restructuring across the EU. They account for over one third of the European Union’s budget and are used to tackle regional disparities and support regional development through actions including developing infrastructure and telecommunications, developing human resources and supporting research and development). The renovation was to include switching the heating fuel, replacing the wooden window frames, insulating the flat roof or alternatively constructing a gable roof and installing thermostatic radiator valves and heating system controls. Unfortunately the municipality did not get this funding and therefore this work has not been undertaken, with the exception of the fuel switching, which took place as part of the installation of the biomass boiler by BIOMASA.

_ The biomass boiler was installed to serve several buildings in Lubochna. It was hoped that this project would contribute to the introduction of biomass heating in Slovakia and the creation of a sustainable market for wood pellets.


Presentation at the conference “Biomass – a clean energy” in Zilina


DISPLAY® poster at the entrance of the school in Lubochna

_ Awareness raising activities were undertaken with the aim of invoking interest in, and gaining public support for this environmentally friendly and economically viable biomass heating project.

Key points
Lubochna’s boiler room is the biggest biomass unit installed by BIOMASA in 2004. In total, 14 buildings are supplied with heat energy by this boiler, including the school, a kindergarten, the municipal administrative building and several of NEDI’s buildings.

_ The biomass heating plant, situated in one of NEDI’s buildings, has two boilers, a 1,800 kW boiler for winter and a 700 kW boiler for summer operation and for peak load demand. This ensures efficient operation of the heating plant throughout the year. The annual heating demand of all connected buildings is about 15,000 GJ.

Reason for inclusion as Shining Example
This project is currently the BIOMASA Association’s biggest and most successful project and it has become well-known throughout Slovakia.

_ Lubochna is often visited by different organisations and people that are interested in switching heating fuel and in the utilisation of biomass for heating. Visitors want to get acquainted with the installations and are looking for information and advice.

Costs &


Costs &


The investment costs were €340,000 for the boiler room and €280,000 for the distribution system and the main control equipment.

_ Funding for the different activities was provided by several sources. Installation of the biomass boiler room (including the boiler, fuel feeder and control unit) was financed by BIOMASA through a third party financing scheme. The heat distribution pipe network, reconstruction of the premises for the boiler room and rehabilitation of the buildings were paid for by NEDI and the municipality (as owners of the buildings).

_ Implementation of the project was also supported by grants from the Ministry of Environment of SR, UNDP/GEF, and Austrian Environmental Fund through KKA.

The price of heat energy produced by a biomass unit is about 30% lower compared to the energy produced by liquid heavy oil. Another 30% of the energy cost is saved as a result of the installed heat control equipment and the energy saving measures installed in the buildings.

_ The operation, maintenance and fuel supply is undertaken by BIOMASA, which releases the final heat consumers from the need to care about fuel supply or maintenance.

_ The CO2 emissions reduction, due to the fuel switch, is 2,000 t/a (based on comparison with liquid heavy oil and brown coal).

_ This good example of the successful installation of biomass boilers has led to the faster and broader acceptance of biomass for heat supply in Slovakia. As a result of the wide awareness raising campaign undertaken by BIOMASA, decision makers and the public in Slovakia realised that the use of biomass for heating is a way to solve their heating problems, save energy and protect the environment.

Partners details

Partners & Roles
This project was successfully completed thanks to the strong partnership between the BIOMASA Association, the National Endocrinology and Diabetology Institute (NEDI), the Municipality of Lubochna, the Ministry of Environment of SR, UNDP/GEF, and the Austrian Environmental Fund through KKA.

_ The tasks and their implementation were shared between the partners, but the overall management, communication and coordination was undertaken by BIOMASA.


The project results were presented at many national and international conferences and meetings. The pupils and their parents and the inhabitants of Lubochna were acquainted with the participation of the town in the Display® campaign and the utilisation of biomass as a renewable source of energy with environmental benefits. Many Display® leaflets presenting the aims of the campaign and energy saving issues were printed in Slovakia and were disseminated throughout the country.

_ This project was awarded with:

- The National Energy Globe Award 2006
- The European award for local climate protection activities- Climate Star 2004 and
- The ÖGUT (Austrian Society of Environment and Technology) International Environmental Prize in 2001.


_ BIOMASA organises excursions to the reconstructed boiler rooms as well as to the pellet production facilities. This is often the first step that helps people to overcome the fear of the unknown by seeing for themselves the advantages of using wood pellets for heating.

Lessons Learned
This project provides a practical example of the reliability and benefits of biomass heating, an innovative and environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuels, especially for small local communities.The project gives people the opportunity to see for themselves how the heating system works.

_ Completing this project significantly increased public interest in renewable energy sources, biomass and energy efficiency. The potential for replication is very high.

To know more



BIOMASA Association

Ladislav Zidek

+421 41 423 15 00



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