The Town of Havířov
Is Not Afraid of
Last summer, the Statutory Town of Havířov and ČEZ
ESCO established a joint venture to help the town
modernize its energy sector. The first step will be
the transformation of the heating industry in Havířov
from coal towards greener resources. The aim of
the city is to stabilize the central heat supply network,
describe Ing. Josef Bělica, MBA, the mayor of Havířov,
and Ing. Kamil Čermák, CEO of ČEZ ESCO.
The Mayor of the Statutory Town of Havířov
Ing. Josef Bělica, MBA:
Heating prices have grown significantly in the whole
republic. How will Havířov ensure that heating prices
for the city's residents rise as little as possible?
In addition to ecology, heating prices were one of
the reasons why the city decided to establish a joint venture
with ČEZ ESCO, which is planning an alternative project
to supply heat to citizens and companies in city buildings
under economically and environmentally more favorable
conditions. We no longer want to be dependent on
the offer of a single monopoly supplier. We will choose
the alternative that will be the most advantageous for
Havířov and its residents in a transparent public tender. Until
2026—when the contract expires—heating for the residents
of Havířov is provided by Veolia. In the meantime, ENVEZ
will design a tailor-made heating system for Havířov, thus
creating a competitive environment for the tender.
Isn't entering the business environment risky
for the city?
Doing nothing and counting on cheap energy prices
falling out of the sky in a few years would be more risky.
Look at what is happening now in the energy sector
in relation to Ukraine. Prices are soaring again. We
cannot be passive. ENVEZ is a joint venture established
by the Statutory Town of Havířov and ČEZ ESCO.
The business activities are mainly services in the field of
heating, i.e. the production of thermal energy as well as
so-called green emission-free projects. In the first stage,
the city will not invest more than 20m CZK in the project.
This amount consists of a shareholder contribution
and a share of the design phase. If it turns out that
the project is not economically and environmentally
beneficial, the city can withdraw from it at any time with
relatively low losses. For example, if the project were to
fail, the city's loss would be approximately the amount
we are investing this year to replace the electrical
wiring in one elementary school. On the other hand,
if the project proves to be viable, this investment will
be returned to the city and its citizens many times over.
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CEO of ČEZ ESCO, Ing. Kamil Čermák:
How will ENVEZ achieve the announced
In this complicated situation, there are several alternatives.
We don't want to rush anything, so we decided first to
carefully tailor a project for Havířov on how local green
energy could look. It has to be ecological and effective
and financially beneficial for the citizens at the same time.
One of the main roles should be played by cogeneration,
which is a very efficient joint production of electricity and
heat. Small CHP units are more eco-friendly because their
efficiency is 90%, so they don't need as much fuel, which
other conventional sources can't do. This is a definite
advantage for the inhabitants, for nature, for society
as a whole. The benefits of cogeneration are already
known to many towns. We have cogeneration units in
ninety locations across the country. But the project will
definitely not be based only on cogeneration units. We
want to combine them with renewable resources such as
heat pumps or photovoltaic power plants. What will also
be important for the environment is that heat production
will be moved closer to the point of consumption, heat
losses will be eliminated and we will provide basically
tailor-made heat, exactly as much as people need.
But ENVEZ certainly does not have ambitions only in
the heating industry. We are counting on using experts
from ČEZ ESCO, a market leader in energy-saving
projects, to offer cooperation on other ecologically
beneficial projects in Havířov that will make the town
greener and more efficient, thus saving Havířov money
for other interesting investments for the people.
What is the share capital of ENVEZ and how does
ČEZ ESCO and Havířov participate in it?
ENVEZ has a share capital of 9.5m CZK, ESCO has
a 51% stake and Havířov 49%. But I would like to say
that it is an equal partnership—we prepare the whole
project with a common purpose and we always try to
agree together, otherwise it wouldn't be worth it. On
important matters, 100% of all shareholders must agree
on the vote and it cannot happen that one shareholder
Since 2018, we had a similar joint venture in Prešov and
Nové Zámky. We supply heat for 23,000 households in
collaboration with the towns. Other cities in the Czech
Republic have already expressed interest in a similar
model—mayors are aware that providing environmentally
friendly and affordable heat will be a big task and only
those who are well prepared can do it.
Mr Mayor, Mr CEO, thank you for the interview.