Nenad Beserovac, President of the Municipality of Bogatić

Mačva is More Than a Raw Material Base

The municipality of Bogatić has always, due to its natural potential, relied on agricultural production, the improvement of which the local self-government has been working on intensively for several years, along with working to entice domestic and foreign investors

Nenad Beserovac, President of the Municipality of Bogatić

At present, estimates the president of the Municipality of Bogatić, we are most in need of a processing plant that would be able to process agricultural products into semi-finished or finished products, in order for Mačva to cease to be only a raw material base

Only two municipalities in Mačva, Vladimirci and yours, don’t have any foreign or major domestic investors. How can you change that?

– Unfortunately, our municipality didn’t have an overly developed economy even during the time of the former Yugoslavia, but there were several enterprises, such as Mlinska industrija [milling industry] “Lala Stankovic”, “1. May”, “Zorka plastike” and “Ogleda”, which employed between 100 and 150 workers. Had we saved that, which we didn’t due to catastrophic privatisations, our production halls wouldn’t have been converted into sports terrains and halls for festivities, nor would we today need a major investor today.

Our advantage – in terms of what might attract both domestic and foreign investors – is reflected primarily in a favourable geographical position. We are border municipality, with access to the rivers Sava and Drina, located close to the highway and the airport, while we have vast natural resources – both groundwater and geothermal water, more than 200 sunny days per year, natural minerals, gravel and sand.

The municipality also has 12 hectares of construction land suitable for conversion into a work zone and possible greenfield investments, while one 4,000-square-metre production hall has been preserved. It is suitable for a brownfield investment, so we’re seeking and expecting investors in the coming period, and we believe that there would be interest among workers in gaining factory-based employment, because about 450 of our citizens travel to Šabac to work for Jazaki.

The new heating system for the municipality Bogatić will generate annual savings of between 12 and 18 million dinars, whilst it will also reduce air pollution levels

Research on the possibilities of utilising hydro-geothermal energy lasted more than three decades, but then major strides were taken last year…

– To date, around a dozen exploratory geothermal wells have been drilled Mačva, including an exploration well in Dublje (IEDB-1). At the end of 2016, the “Study of the possibilities of utilising hydro-geothermal energy for the needs of district heating for public facilities in Bogatić” was conducted at the Belgrade Faculty of Mining and Geology, which showed that implementing this project would be justified. Works on the district heating system via the BB 1 well began on 16th July last year.

This is a unique project and the first of its kind in our country, as it reduces investment costs almost threefold. A million euros has been invested in the project – 75 per cent from a loan, with the rest coming from the municipality’s own funds. The completion of works is expected in the next month or month and a half.

It is important for 25 litres of water per second with a temperature of 55 degrees to remain at the exit point, which offers unprecedented possibilities for further use.

In placed in the function of agricultural development, could these hydro-geothermal resources represent a capital asset of the Mačva District, enabling farmers to have several harvests per year?

– The study showed that the heating of greenhouses, which can be built on 16 ha of land near Well BB 2, requires 15.2 MW of heating energy.

Existing estimates indicate that, with the geothermal energy of thermal waters located within the municipality of Bogatić, intensive agri-aquaculture production can be achieved, particularly of organic food, according to the most stringent world ecological standards.