Partnership with USAID Gets Pančevo Covid Hospital Heating and Hot Water Upgrade

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Partnership with USAID Gets Pančevo Covid Hospital Heating and Hot Water Upgrade
Refurbished substation at Pančevo hospital
USAID Serbia

For Immediate Release

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Pančevo -- Through a partnership between the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Pančevo District Heating Plant and City Administration, the heating and hot water system at Pančevo General Hospital is now fully functional. The $230,000 refurbishment of all six substations at the hospital was agreed earlier this year and completed in time to ensure the hospital can maintain ambient temperatures in all areas of the hospital, including the ward housing COVID patients, during the heating season and provide a stable supply of sanitary hot water to the maternity and surgery wards all year round.  Additional equipment and software were also provided to fully automate the entire operation and management of the whole system based on the hospital’s needs and outside temperature and to enable real-time, remote monitoring by trained DHP professionals.

During the last few years, the general hospital in Pančevo had been experiencing serious problems in providing heating and a reliable supply of sanitary hot water to the maternity and surgery wards. This issue escalated with the pandemic since the hospital was designated as the primary regional COVID-19 hospital in the Banat region with more than 200 infected COVID-19 patients at certain times. The hospital is now also receiving overflow patients from Belgrade.

The DHP and City administration approached USAID about this problem.

“When our partners in Pančevo explained the problems they were having with heating and hot water at the hospital - which is also an important COVID hospital - we realized how important it would be to help them sort that problem out.  We mobilized resources and moved quickly to get the work done before the winter heating season in order to improve conditions for patients and staff alike.” - Mike de la Rosa, USAID Serbia Mission Director.

Prior to this initiative at the hospital, USAID had already successfully partnered with Pančevo’s District Heating Plant (DHP) to improve energy efficiency and install 200 solar thermal panels on the roof of the district heating plant “Kotež” with a capacity of 350 kWh for the supply of sanitary hot water. Already, that project has produced savings equivalent to 8000 m³ of natural gas, or the amount of hot water that could be supplied to 128 apartments for a whole year. The total cost of that project was $190,000: USAID provided $100,000 to purchase solar panels and ancillary systems; the DHP provided $90,000 for roof refurbishment. That work was undertaken as part of the USAID Serbia Energy Efficiency Activity (SEEA) aimed at improving energy efficiency in the provision of heating at the local level.

Primarily through USAID, the United States has provided more than $3.54 million in COVID-19 assistance to Serbia. This support has included everything from oxygen concentrators and X-ray machines to test kits, triage and testing containers for hospitals and working with UNICEF and the Serbian Red Cross to provide thousands of hygiene, food and children’s learning kits to some of the country’s most vulnerable people during this crisis.