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Economy
03 March 2021, 18:55

Plans to expand usage of local fuels in Belarus

Photos courtesy of the Energy Ministry
Photos courtesy of the Energy Ministry

MINSK, 3 March (BelTA) – More efforts will be poured into increasing the usage of local kinds of fuel in Belarus. Belarusian Energy Minister Viktor Karankevich made the statement as he and Vitebsk Oblast Governor Nikolai Sherstnev visited the peat brick plant OAO TBZ Braslavsky on 3 March, the press service of the Energy Ministry told BelTA.

As he addressed workers of the enterprise, Viktor Karankevich reminded that an important event in the country's life – the 6th Belarusian People's Congress – took place on 11-12 February 2021. The head of state outlined key tasks of the social and economic development of the state. Viktor Karankevich said: “As far as power engineering is concerned, it is necessary to increase energy self-sufficiency by means of diversifying types and suppliers of fuel and energy resources, by increasing the usage of local kinds of fuel and renewable energy sources. It is necessary to reduce dependence on hydrocarbon raw materials by commissioning the Belarusian nuclear power plant.”

Increasing the use of peat and peat products is an important part of the work. Peat accounts for about 15% of the total usage of locally available fuels. About 2 million tonnes of peat is mined in Belarus every year. Peat is used to make 1.2 million tonnes of peat products. About 20% is exported while about 80% is sold domestically and allows substituting over 450 million m3 of natural gas.

Burning peat in boiler houses of housing and utilities enterprises is a promising way to use peat. Aleksei Kushnarenko, Director General of the Belarusian state fuel and natural gas supplier Beltopgaz, member of the upper chamber of the Belarusian parliament, explained that three such projects are already being implemented in Minsk Oblast. Another eight are under consideration in Minsk Oblast.

Prospects of using peat in this manner in Vitebsk Oblast will be evaluated soon. The peat brick plant OAO TBZ Braslavsky may contribute to this project.

Viktor Karankevich noted: “It is important that the plant's raw materials have been secured with assistance of the oblast administration and the district administration. The enterprise has been granted 220ha of fields for peat mining. It means the enterprise can make plans for at least 15 years.”

In turn, the Vitebsk Oblast governor added that the possibility of burning peat in boiler houses of Vitebsk Oblast housing and utilities enterprises needs a closer look. “We have to understand prospects of development of this idea. We have to make people understand that this is serious and offers good opportunities,” he said.

On the whole, the Vitebsk Oblast governor mentioned the need to find new ways to use peat, expand the product choice, and export more.

During the meeting with the worker collective Viktor Karankevich and Nikolai Sherstnev answered questions of the workers. According to the energy minister, this format of communication allows one to understand the real state of affairs at an enterprise and receive proposals from worker collectives for the sake of consequent implementation.

The peat brick plant OAO TBZ Braslavsky mines peat for fuel. It also produces raw materials for making composted fertilizers. As part of a retooling campaign in 2013-2018 the enterprise built a new peat brick wing where a modern peat brick manufacturing technology was introduced. The project allowed increasing the peat brick output from 30,000 to 40,000 tonnes per annum.

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