Opening of two energy facilities at the airport

Two important energy facilities were today opened at Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport: a new Elektro Gorenjska substation, which will be the main source of supply for the medium-voltage network for the entire region of Gorenjska east of Kranj, and the Fraport Slovenija central energy facility, which will supply thermal and cooling energy for the entire airport efficiently from a single location. The opening ceremonies were attended by guest of honour Alenka Bratušek, deputy prime minister and infrastructure minister.

Left to right: Fraport Slovenija managing director Zmago Skobir; president of the Elektro Gorenjska management board Dr Ivan Šmon; deputy prime minister and infrastructure minister Alenka Bratušek; mayor of Cerklje na Gorenjskem Franc Čebulj.

Elektro Gorenjska have invested EUR 1.8 million in a new 20 kilovolt (kV) Brnik substation. The facility will be the main source of supply for the electricity distribution network at Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport and its growing business zone. Through the project, Elektro Gorenjska are making an important contribution to improving the quality and reliability of its supply in the area in question, which will enable the further development of tourism and the economy by and around the airport. The construction of the new Brnik substation provides technically more adequate and reliable connection power conditions, and will also make it easier to control the voltage ratios. The load placed on the substation has increased by 25% as a result of the expansion of the industrial zone in the course of 2019. Depending on the spatial plans and the requirements for the connection of new customers, a load of over 20 megavolt amperes (MVA) is already envisaged in the near future.
The guest of honour at the event was deputy prime minister and infrastructure minister Alenka Bratušek. “Electricity supply in Slovenia is reliable, high-quality and accessible, which is as important for citizens as it is for the economy. We must ensure that it continues this way, which is, of course, a considerable challenge. As technological advances mean that electricity consumers are becoming, at the same time, electricity producers, and with the number of such small producers increasing, the world of energy is undergoing a complete facelift. This means that the electricity network must be subject to new ways of thinking. Investments in the network will therefore have to be made carefully, with quality, accessibility and reliability of electricity supply depending, to a large extent, on experts within electricity distribution companies such as Elektro Gorenjska,” said the minister. Ms Bratušek expressed her ministry’s support for all measures to ensure reliable supply and ever-cleaner energy in this new era for energy and mankind.
The new Fraport Slovenija central energy facility project encompasses the construction of a facility just over 300 m2 in size, new heating and cooling pipes stretching along a length of 500 m, and technological installations for heat generation (installed thermal power of 2.7 MW). The aim of the project is to combine generation of the heating and cooling energy required by all airport infrastructure efficiently at a single location. The new passenger terminal, which is currently under construction, will also be connected to the facility, the design of which brings together advanced technological and environmentally efficient heating element systems. The facility has been designed in a modular way, with the space available to extend the energy installations within it for the next ten years. For the time being, natural gas will be used as the main fuel for the heating boilers, although, in the coming years, Fraport Slovenija will focus its energy-related investments on renewable energy sources with the aim of further reducing the company’s carbon footprint.
Zmago Skobir, Fraport Slovenija’s managing director, had this to say at the opening of the new energy facilities: “The installation and successful start-up of Fraport Slovenija central energy facility is an important milestone for the company in the field of energy. It will ensure the efficient supply of thermal and cooling energy to the entire airport from a single location, as well as use renewable energy sources for its operation. This shows that we are keeping to our environmental commitments to reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions in the coming years and to promote efficient energy use.” 
The dimensions of the project and the level of investment required means that the central energy facility has undergone a phased design process that takes account of future energy needs as well. The first phase of the investment, which is now complete, is worth EUR 1.5 million. The incorporation of a water-to-water heat pump and accompanying boreholes, and the introduction of the co-generation of heat and electricity, are planned over the next few years. The extra investment is estimated to be in the region of EUR 1 million.
The project has been managed and organised by the engineering department of Fraport Slovenija: project manager Peter Pintar and supervisors Aleš Perjet, Dominik Žnidaršič and Matej Fajfar.
The central energy facility is one of the major investments being made to bring the airport’s infrastructure up to date. This year, and over the next four years, we will invest more than EUR 40 million in modernising and equipping the airport. Over half the funds will go towards the new passenger terminal, which will open in summer 2021. Besides the two mentioned above, the key investments include the Fraport Aviation Academy, which opened in March, renovation of the business information system, a new interior road network, a hangar for ground-handling equipment, and the renovation and expansion of fire and rescue department areas.
Zg. Brnik, October 25, 2019