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09 November 2021, 13:22

Belarus' energy saving efforts internationally recognized as effective

MINSK, 9 November (BelTA) - International financial organizations recognize Belarus' energy saving efforts as effective, Vladimir Shevchenok, deputy head of the office of science and technology policy and foreign economic ties at the Department for Energy Efficiency, told a press conference in Minsk on 9 November, BelTA has learned.

“Amid the shortage of financial resources of the regional administrations, the department has carried out consistent work to attract funds from international financial organizations, on favorable terms, for the investment projects in energy saving. International financial organizations, in turn, recognize Belarus' energy saving efforts as very effective. They have supported our work for almost 20 years by means of providing financial resources for the implementation of joint social investment projects," Vladimir Shevchenok said.

Over the past 19 years, Belarus has attracted about $634.6 million in loans from international financial institutions to implement five projects in energy saving. “Interest rates on loans of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) were significantly lower than the average annual inflation of the dollar (1.76%) and the euro (1.18%) over the past 10 years and 7-8 times lower than this year. Thus, in value terms Belarus will pay back less than it is borrowing today,” the expert explained.

He emphasized that the annual amount of loans of international financial organizations allocated for energy efficiency projects exceeds the amount of funds earmarked by the central budget to finance the state program. Thus, in 2016-2021 about $127 million of IBRD loans was used and only about $40 million was allocated from the central budget to implement energy efficiency projects.

According to Vladimir Shevchenok, the implementation of the Biomass District Heating Project is nearing completion. As part of the project, 19 biomass-fired boiler houses were built. Work on another facility - a boiler house in Baranovichi - is nearing completion. “Belinvestenergosberezhenie held effective bidding and signed contracts for the main 13 project sites as part of the project, thus saving about $26 million in borrowed funds. They, in turn, were used to build 7 additional wood-fueled boilers. As of today, $83 million of IBRD loan funds have been used on the project,” the deputy head of the department said.

The investment project “Expansion of Sustainable Energy Use” kicked off in August 2020. The project implementation period is 2020-2025. The total amount of loans is €180 million, including €90 million in loans from the IBRD and €90 million in loans from the European Investment Bank (EIB). “Funding from the IBRD for the project has been confirmed. The EIB has stopped financing the project indefinitely,” Vladimir Shevchenok added.

In his words, the project envisages the construction of 17 wood-fueled boilers of utilities organizations and thermal modernization of 125 apartment buildings in Grodno Oblast and Mogilev Oblast.

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