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Belarus eager to export more electricity to EAEU market after launching nuclear power plant

Once the Belarusian nuclear power plant is commissioned, Belarus intends to export more electricity to the common market of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). The statement was made by Belarusian Deputy Energy Minister Olga Prudnikova during the press conference held in BelTA’s press center in anticipation of the Belarusian Energy and Ecology Forum.

The official said: “Work is now in progress to form the common electricity market within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union. The agreement on creating the market is supposed to be signed by 1 July 2019. Once the nuclear power plant is commissioned, our export potential will rise – the potential of the energy industry as a whole and the potential of individual commercial entities, which will be able to access the common EAEU electricity market if they meet certain criteria.”

Belarus pursues a multiple-vector policy in matters concerning the export of electricity. The deputy energy minister pointed out that Belarus successfully trades in electricity on the Baltic market via the Nord Pool exchange. So far this year Belarus has exported nearly 800 million kWh of electricity, said the official.

Speaking about prospects of signing long-term contracts on exporting electricity generated by the Belarusian nuclear power plant, Olga Prudnikova explained that it is too early to talk about it. “I hope that arrangements, all the actions we take will allow us to have such contracts by the time we commission the nuclear power plant,” she said.

The official confirmed that the first unit of the Belarusian nuclear power plant will be commissioned by the end of the next year. “Intensive construction work is now in progress. Belarusian and Russian contractors are involved,” she specified. Work is also in progress to prepare the national power grid for integration with the Belarusian nuclear power plant.

The Belarusian nuclear power plant is being built using the Russian standard Generation III+ design AES-2006 near Ostrovets, Grodno Oblast. The first power-generating unit is scheduled for commissioning in 2019, with the second one to go online in 2020. The first batch of nuclear fuel is supposed to be delivered to the nuclear power plant by the end of the year.