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Belarus invests $6.3bn in energy sector since 2005

Belarus has invested about $6.3 billion into the programs to improve and upgrade the domestic energy sector, Energy Minister of Belarus Vladimir Potupchik said at a solemn ceremony to lay a commemorative stone at the 330kW electrical substation Molodechno on 3 March. The ceremony was timed to the start of the construction of the system to collect the electricity the Belarusian nuclear power plant will generate and deliver it into the national power grid, BelTA has learnt.

Nearly a quarter of the amount was invested in Belarus-China joint projects. Belarus is very happy about the results of these projects that include the upgrade of the existing energy generation facilities. The project to build the system to collect the electricity the Belarusian NPP will generate and connect the power plant with the national power grid is estimated at $340 million. “We cannot suspend the operation of our major power grids while implementing this project. It means that everything should be done in sync: the first and the second startup complexes should be commissioned by the time the first energy-generating unit of the BelNPP comes on stream. We have no doubts that the project will be completed in time and in a quality manner,” the Energy Minister said. Preparatory works are underway now; the construction will start on 15 April.

“The system to collect and distribute the electricity to be generated by the NPP will cover the entire country from north to south and from west to east. There will be five major facilities, like the Molodechno substation,” the Energy Minister said.

He noted that the participation of Belarusian organizations in the abovementioned project is under discussion: “The design works are being done by Belarus. The Chinese general contractor has concluded two subcontracting agreements with Belarusian construction and mounting organizations; talks are in progress on the three of them”.

Vladimir Potupchik said that the loan for the project was provided by the Export-Import Bank of China on very attractive terms. The loan was offered for 15 years. During the first five years Belarus will have to pay only 3% per annum. “We appreciate the terms offered by our Chinese partners,” the Energy Minister said.