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Belarusian Finance Ministry expects state budget to manage nuclear power plant loan payments

The Belarusian Finance Ministry does not expect substantial risks to the state budget that payments on the loan on building the nuclear power plant may present. Belarusian Finance Minister Maksim Yermolovich made the relevant statement during the economic forum KEF 2018 in Minsk on 6 November, BelTA has learned.

“Energy loans made no problems for the state budget in the past. Energy industry products always enjoy stable demand, this is why I see no substantial risks relating to the implementation of this project,” said Maksim Yermolovich when asked whether loan payments will be a problem if the energy the Belarusian nuclear power plant is not exported.

According to the source, various options are being looked into to evaluate how the nuclear power plant will operate after the launch, what electricity rates on the home market should be in order to make the economy competitive, and how much electricity Belarus can sell to neighbors.

“All of it will determine the track of possible payments on servicing the loan and repaying it. The terms of the loan were comfortable, this is why I cannot talk about substantial risks in this field,” said the official.

The Belarusian nuclear power plant is being built using a Russian design featuring VVER-1200 reactors near Ostrovets, Grodno Oblast. The first power-generating unit is scheduled for commissioning in 2019, with the second one to go online in 2020. Belarus has been granted a credit line to build the power plant for the period till 2035. Russia is supposed to lend up to $10 billion to cover 90% of the cost of construction while Belarus is supposed to cover another 10%.