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Belarus to import about 20.465bn cubic meters of natural gas in 2014

In 2014 Belarus plans to import about 20.465 billion cubic meters of Russian natural gas, First Deputy Energy Minister of Belarus Leonid Shenets told media on 6 March, BelTA has learnt.

According to him, the volume has been coordinated with Gazprom. It will be enough to meet the needs of all categories of consumers in Belarus.

“Last year Belarus imported nearly 19.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas. There has been a slight increase in consumption,” Leonid Shenets said. In the future the country will continue its efforts to decrease the dependence on gas. The efforts include measures to enhance energy efficiency of the energy and other sectors of the economy, gradual replacement of imported energy resources by renewable energy and increasing of the share of local fuels in the fuel balance. This course has been described in the new national energy security concept presented to media in Minsk on 6 March. Construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant is another way to reduce the dependence on gas imports.

According to one of the developers of the concept Deputy Secretary of the Department of Engineering Physics of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus Academician Alexander Mikhalevich, the issue of the imported gas volumes and electricity imports/exports is not principal. The most important thing here is the level of dependence of the energy system on the one type of fuel and one supplier. From the energy security perspective it would be optimal to generate one third of the total electricity from natural gas, one third – by means of local fuel and renewable energy and one third – through nuclear energy. The document also spells out the need to increase the production of fuel and energy resources outside Belarus, including in Russia and Kazakhstan within the Single Economic Space. The move would allow for diversification of hydrocarbon supplies to the country.