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Belarus, Russia renegotiating loan terms for Belarus' nuclear power plant

Mikhail Mikhadyuk

MINSK, 11 May (BelTA) – Belarus and Russia are discussing new terms of the loan for the construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant (BelNPP); the approval of the documents is pending, Belarus' Deputy Energy Minister Mikhail Mikhadyuk said during a video briefing in BelTA's press center on 11 May.

“Taking into consideration that the commissioning of the first and second energy units was postponed, we are now discussing amendments to the loan agreement with the Russian partners. This pertains to the loan utilization period, deferral of the loan repayment and the interest rate. We have reached understanding with the Russian side, but the documents have not been signed yet,” Mikhail Mikhadyuk said.

“The financing of the nuclear power plant construction is going on as planned, without any restrictions and delays,” the deputy minister noted.

In his words, the documents are at the approval stage and are undergoing interstate procedures in Belarus and Russia.

A reminder, the intergovernmental agreement on borrowing up to $10 billion from Russia to build the Belarusian nuclear power plant was signed on 25 November 2011. The money is supposed to cover 90% of the work specified by the general contract on building the nuclear power plant. The Belarusian side is to pay the remaining 10%.

In line with the effective agreement, Belarus shall start repaying the loan six months after the nuclear power plant is commissioned, but not later than 1 April 2021. The loan shall be repaid in 30 equal transfers every six months. Half of the amount bears the interest rate of 5.23% per annum. The rate for the remaining 50% is a six-month LIBOR in U.S. dollars plus 1.83% per annum.

The Belarusian nuclear power plant is being built near Ostrovets, Grodno Oblast, using a Russian design featuring two VVER-1200 reactors with the total output capacity of 2,400MW. The first unit is supposed to go online in 2020, with the second one scheduled for launch in 2021.