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14 December 2017, 19:13

Plans to implement technical aid projects in Belarus with EU4Energy assistance

MINSK, 14 December (BelTA) – The Belarusian Energy Ministry intends to initiate the implementation of technical aid projects in Belarus as part of the international cooperation program EU4Energy, BelTA learned from Belarusian Deputy Energy Minister Vadim Zakrevsky on 14 December.

As part of the EU4Energy program Belarus can get consultative aid from experts and can analyze international practices in the sphere of power engineering, noted the official. “The experience of creating a common electricity market is important since we are working to create one. A bill on power engineering has been prepared. It is now necessary to develop subsidiary legislation — rules for the wholesale market, the retail market, rules for operating the power grid and connecting consumers to the grid. Since a number of European Union countries have already mastered the process, we will have an excellent opportunity to adopt the most acceptable legislative initiative practice in this field,” said Vadim Zakrevsky. He mentioned the intention to suggest a number of EU4Energy-assisted technical aid projects to the Secretariat of the Energy Charter.

Belarus is one of the 55 signatories to the Energy Charter. The document brings together primarily countries that transit energy resources. As part of the EU4Energy initiative the Energy Charter Secretariat has come up with an expanded profile to assess risks of investing in the Belarusian power engineering industry. The profile mentions the effectiveness of licensing procedures in Belarus. The presidential decree on licensing certain kinds of activities envisages a universal and accelerated procedure for issuing licenses. The legal documents, which cover all kinds of investment activities in Belarus, make sure that Belarusian and foreign investors are treated equally. Foreign investors are permitted to invest in all the power engineering industry sectors. They can own a controlling interest in energy projects.

Secretary General of the Energy Charter Secretariat Urban Rusnak said he hopes that the profile will encourage future cooperation between the Belarusian government and investors in the course of improving the investment policy and will assist with combining efforts for the sake of ensuring reliable energy deliveries.

A roundtable session took place at the Belarusian Energy Ministry on 14 December to discuss investments in power engineering and energy effectiveness in Belarus. Vadim Zakrevsky stressed that a lot of joint work was done in 2017 as part of Belarus' participation in the EU4Energy initiative. Results of the work were presented and analyzed during the meeting. Prospects of cooperation were discussed as well as coordination of consequent steps for Belarus within the framework of the EU4Energy initiative.

EU4Energy is a new European Union (EU) initiative that works with the six Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) and five Central Asian countries (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) to support the elaboration and implementation of energy policies that reduce their energy dependence and intensity, bolster their resilience and open up new opportunities for efficient low-carbon economies that further advance citizens' well-being.

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