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Calm and collected in a heated discussion: Ivan Hribar, director of Snovik thermal spa/SL

Nov 02, 2009 / CIPRA International
The Thermal Center Snovik was the winner of one of the seven prizes in CIPRA’s cc.alps competition for its activities . We met the director Ivan Hribar.
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The eco-friendly business

We decided right from the outset to build a thermal spa in the unspoilt Snovik valley, whose eco-friendly design would blend more effectively into the natural surroundings and be energy efficient at the same time. In spite of low water temperatures, modern technology enables the thermal spa to be run as a highly efficient operation with low running costs.

The award

We are very proud to have won a prize in the cc.alps competition. It represents an important boost to morale as well as providing us with a significant funding resource. The development award has proved to be a valuable marketing tool for the “Terme Snovik” brand. Some of the prize money has been used to participate in an excursion to the Strunjan thermal spa and the new Kempinski Palace Hotel in Portorož. The remaining funds will be invested in new renewable energy projects, e.g. combined heat and power plants (use of biomass for power generation) and photovoltaic systems.

Energy efficiency in companies

As far as I can judge, public interest in energy efficient projects in Slovenia appears to be growing, and this interest has been clearly boosted by the general climate currently being promoted at both national and EU level. We have a group of visitors coming to us every week, to find out about the various examples of “best practice” in our company’s overall energy efficiency system.

Financial benefits or contribution to climate protection?

I think that companies primarily opt for energy efficient projects because there are a number of financial incentives available for this type of project, either from the Slovenian Government or the EU. Many people are still not really aware that energy efficiency helps protect the environment.

Cooperation with residents of Snovik village

Everything went very smoothly for us. Our biomass supplier is a Snovik farmer who sells us heat energy. The villagers were involved in the planning of Snovik Thermal Spa right from the start. Joint discussions are held to determine how they can contribute to the operation of the thermal spa. Before construction started, all the houses in the village were fitted with solar heating systems. This enables the whole village to function on the principles of energy efficiency and climate protection. The people feel that they are directly involved in the project and that in a small way they are also making a contribution to the protection of the environment in the Snovik valley.

Plans for the future

At Therme Snovik we have drawn up short-, medium- and long-term plans, all connected to the viability of the valley. In the short-term we want to enlarge the water areas, expand our range of additional services and our culinary and conference facilities. The long-term plan involves the construction of a 5-Star hotel. In each case, development will be geared to eco-friendly tourism, to promote relaxation in peaceful, natural surroundings, using renewable sources of energy.