School Number Three has climate issues on the curriculum. Photo: Patrik Rastenberger

Déjà vu. Bickering about sweets during the school break and a serious attitude on the football field seem familiar. Children will be children whatever their language, nationality or
ethnicity.

The boys’ pressed jackets and the girls’ pretty bows in the hair impress us Nordic outsiders. We are standing outside school number 3 in Berezan, which is located approximately 80 kilometres east of Kyiv in Ukraine.

The school has recently benefited from a project to upgrade the nearby district heating plant that supplies the school with district heating during the cold months of the year. The project has included, for example, renewing the boilers, heat exchangers and distribution pumps, and an automated control system has been installed to optimise energy consumption.

“Thanks to the project, we have been able to improve the operating efficiency and free up staff for other jobs, as the automation of the heating plant no longer requires the same level of staffing as before,” says Vladimir Prynko who is responsible for Berezan’s district heating plants.

The city of Berezan has a total of seven heating plants that supply heat to the
municipality’s 17,000 inhabitants. Of these heating plants, only the plant by
school number 3 has been upgraded so far, but Vladimir Prynko hopes that the
project will result in more, equivalent investments in the near future.
NEFCO has funded the project with a loan from its financing scheme for
cleaner production. The demand for credit from this loan scheme is big in
Ukraine.

“We have 28 new project inquiries under consideration,” confirms Technical
Adviser Andriy Katashov at NEFCO’s office in Kyiv.

The local companies JV Ukrinterm and Energoinvest are responsible for
implementing the project. Ukrinterm produces, maintains and installs technical
equipment for the production of district heating. This is the company’s
first municipal project being carried out in connection with a school. The
demand for the company’s services is stable. In 2010, Ukrinterm’s turnover
was EUR 2.8 million.

School number 3 has a total of 467 pupils aged 7-12 years. Pupils aged 10-12
study the subject of environmental education, which deals with everything
from biology, geography and ecology to planting trees. Even climate change
and its effects are on the curriculum. And the school’s Head Teacher is responsible
for the teaching.

“Now we can use district heating in our own local environment as a tangible
and definite example of how energy consumption can be made more efficient
and counteract climate change at local level,” says Head Teacher Lubov
Degteriova.

The investment in Berezan has a broad reach. The project includes another
component in the capital Kyiv where the regional Sanitary and Epidemiological
Station is investing in an equivalent upgrade of a district heating plant that supplies the institute with heating. According to the calculations on the project plan, the upgrades in both locations will result in an annual saving of EUR 72,000 from the reduction in the consumption of gas. The environmental gains also include reduced emissions of carbon dioxide,and nitrogen oxides.

“Through our cooperation with the company Ukrinterm, we can reach a
large number of new customers who all have one thing in common – they are
interested in making their energy consumption more efficient and freeing up
funds for the core activity,” says Technical Adviser Andriy Katashov.