The Dukovany nuclear power station may eventually supply over 50% of Brno’s energy. Photo credit:

Dukovany-Brno Hot Water Pipeline Completes Technical Preparation Stages Ahead of Schedule

The City of Brno, municipal company Teplárny Brno, and energy firm ČEZ have announced mutual agreement on the technical elements of a new pipeline which will bring hot water from the Dukovany Nuclear Power Plant to Brno, and could eventually meet over 50% of the city’s heating needs. The memorandum of cooperation between the three entities was signed only 45 days ago, but preparations are moving ahead of schedule. Negotiations have also begun with transit municipalities over the purchase of land required for the construction of the pipeline.

Brno Mayor Marketa Vankova (ODS) toured the Dukovany nuclear power plant with representatives of ČEZ and Teplarny Brno to evaluate the progress. “In the month and a half since the signing of the memorandum, we can already see the first tangible result, namely that the technical parameters of the heat pipe have been confirmed,” she said. “The memorandum states that the indicators for deciding whether and under what conditions the construction of the heat pipe should take place should be available by the end of the year. According to the speed that the analysis work is progressing, I assume that we should already know the initial economic parameters of the project by September.”

This initial analysis will then inform the feasibility of the project, the possibilities of accessing subsidies, and options for investors. This will be followed by the preparation of project documentation and discussion in both joint-stock companies. Vanková added that parallel negotiations are taking place with the Ministries of Industry and Trade, Finance and the Environment, as well as the European Investment Bank, over alternative ways to finance the project.

According to Vankova, the 42-kilometre pipeline from Dukovany to Brno will be mostly underground, away from roads and built-up areas. Pumping stations at both ends and along the route will ensure water circulation. The pipeline will be connected to Brno’s hot water system via a facility at Bosonohy. “Laying the pipeline on the route should not be too technologically demanding,” said Vankova. “Waterways will have to be crossed by bridge structures, and tunnels will be excavated in some places with elevated terrain.”

Brno Mayor Marketa Vankova tours the site with representatives of partner companies, 4 August 2022. Photo credit:

The final pipeline should bring two million gigajoules of heat into Brno each year. Conversion of Brno’s old steam pipes to new pipes carrying hot water should be completed by the time the pipeline is finished. Further changes and additional infrastructure will probably be required to adapt the city to the new energy source, but the anticipated exchange stations will take up far less space than the existing central boilers in Brno, which could be closed to free up space for redevelopment or repurposing. More importantly, the project should connect large areas of the city and many new developments to emissions-free heating and power.

According to Petr Fajmon, general director of Teplarny Brno, this project will solve a range of urgent energy-related issues. “From the development of the energy crisis in recent months, the need is quite obvious to ensure the diversification of the fuel used for heat production and thus eliminate possible threats to supply,” he said. “The heating from Dukovany would cover 50% of Brno’s heating needs in the energy mix. I would also emphasise the significant positive impact on reducing emissions, especially in urban areas, where gas boilers could be shut down and replaced by exchange stations connected to centralised heat supply.”

Negotiations have now begun between Teplarny Brno and the local municipalities through which the pipeline is due to run. The first meeting on this topic took place last week in Oslavany. According to Vankova, the planned route leads through more than 2,500 properties, some of which have multiple owners. “So I very much welcome the help of local government representatives,” she added.

This article was originally published on Brno Daily.