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from 29.01.2008

The Belarusian Government believes that domestic companies are slow to switch to using local fuels

The Belarusian Government believes that domestic companies are slow to switch to using local fuels

On January 29, Prime Minister of Belarus Sergei Sidorsky visited power-generating facilities in Belynichi, the Mogilev oblast.

The head of the Belarusian Government visited a boiler house of the Belynichi-based home for elderly and disabled people, which was converted to operate on wood fuel instead of natural gas (with the use of the indigenously-made equipment). Sergei Sidorsky also familiarised himself with the work of a co-generation facility in the Belynichi central boiler house and new energy-efficient plants in the Belynichi division of Babushkina Krynka Company. Thanks to the technical upgrade the energy expenditure share in the production prime cost fell in the division from 6% to 4.2%.

Belarus is set to reduce the GDP energy intensity by 8% in 2008, Prime Minister of Belarus Sergei Sidorsky told reporters when visiting the energy-generating facilities in the Mogilev oblast.

“This is a very ambitious target. A range of measures is needed to reach it, he said.

According to preliminary data, in 2007 the energy intensity was down 7.5%.

According to Sergei Sidorsky, the main goal of the visit is to sum up the results of the implementation of Directive No 3 in 2007, to map out the measures in 2008 and for the period until 2010.

The Prime Minister noted that the government has been working hard on implementation of the energy saving programme. A special emphasis is placed on local fuels (by 2010 their share in the fuel consumption mix is expected to reach 25%).

One of the priority goals of the government in energy saving is the implementation of energy-efficient projects in housing and utilities, Sergei Sidorsky said.

The Belarusian scientists and power engineering specialists should unite their efforts to carry out projects in the non-conventional energy production field, Prime Minister of Belarus Sergei Sidorsky told reporters on January 29.

“Non-conventional power engineering is a sector for Belarus based on natural resources,” the Prime Minister underlined. “We do not have wide experience of using wind power stations, as there is no such wind rose in Belarus that could make the work of such stations efficient. Though such projects may be carried out in several Belarusian regions,” Sergei Sidorsky underlined.

According to the head of the Belarusian Government, “today Belarus pays big attention to the bio-fuel production. For example, at the end of 2007 Belarus’ Government signed a framework agreement with the Irish company Greenfield on the production of ethanol fuel in Belarus. “We consider that the minimum investments in this field will total $200 million. The analogous project is carried out at Grodno Azot Company,” Sergei Sidorsky underlined. According to him, the programme on promoting the bio-fuel production is very important for Belarus’ power engineering industry.

Insofar as bio-thermal plants are concerned, Belarus is studying the Chinese experience of their use, the Prime Minister noted.

In 2007 a lignine production facility was commissioned in Bobruisk. The analogous production was started in Rechitsa. Moreover, Belarus has been carrying out a programme “Peat”.

When speaking about secondary power source projects carried out in Belarus Sergei Sidorsky noted that such projects had both benefits and implications. Money should be injected in efficient projects only, he underlined.

“Last year was not very successful with regard to the transition to local fuels,” Prime Minister of Belarus Sergei Sidorsky said during a session of the Council of Ministers Presidium in Mogilev on January 29. “We didn’t manage to do everything. First of all, not every thing relating to objects of the Ministry of Housing and Communal Services”.

Apart from that, Sergei Sidorsky pointed out the necessity of taking measures to further decrease the GDP energy intensity. He reminded, by 2010 the GDP energy intensity is supposed to shrink by 31% in comparison with 2005.

In his opinion, in the country little is done to highlight energy saving benefits to individuals, which is, first of all, manifested as slow installation of consumption meters.

Speaking about the implementation of the innovation-based development programme, the head of government remarked, it is closely connected with the energy effectiveness programme and provides for starting up energy-saving production facilities.

First Vice Premier of Belarus Vladimir Semashko remarked, it is extremely topical for Belarus to make the transition to energy-saving technologies, as energy prices, including prices for Russian gas and oil, are constantly on the rise across the globe.

The construction of the infrastructure necessary for the Belarusian nuclear power plant is supposed to start in January 2009, First Vice Premier of Belarus Vladimir Semashko told a session of the Council of Ministers Presidium in Mogilev on January 29.

In his words, the location for deploying the nuclear power plant has to be chosen by late 2008. At present preparations for building the power plant continue.

Two energy units with the total capacity of 2,000MW will be built, with the first unit scheduled for launch in 2016 and the commissioning of the second unit shifted by 1-2 years.

The final decision on building the Belarusian nuclear power plant was taken by a session of the national Security Council chaired by head of state Alexander Lukashenko on January 15.

In 2008 the Venezuelan-Belarusian joint venture will produce 2 million tonnes of oil. Considering future exploration works there are all chances to increase oil production up to 7 million tonnes a year by 2012, First Vice-Premier of Belarus Vladimir Semashko stated at a session of the Presidium of the Council of Ministers in Mogilev.

“However, to extract oil is one thing. To deliver it, if necessary, is another story. For that transport routes need to be identified; issues relating to the Baltic seaports, oil pipelines need to be settled,” he said.

The Venezuelan-Belarusian joint venture was set up in December 2007. It has been assigned the Guara Este and Lagomedio oil deposits. The exploration works are being carried out at three other deposits which can subsequently be assigned to the joint venture.

By 2010 Belarus plans to launch a project for brown coal processing. By 2012 brown coal is supposed to become part of the country’s fuel and energy budget, First Vice Premier of Belarus Vladimir Semashko told a session of the Council of Ministers Presidium in Mogilev on January 29.

In his words, documents required to launch the project are now being developed, design work is in progress.

In September 2007 OAO Belgorkhimprom and Polar Stars Group S.A. company (Luxembourg) signed an investment contract for implementing the brown coal processing project. Belarusian petrochemical concern Belneftekhim was appointed as the body responsible for coordinating the project.

Belarus’ brown coal reserves are estimated at some 1.5 billion tonnes. The largest deposits are located in the Gomel oblast (Zhitkovichskoye, Tonezhskoye, Brinevskoye deposits).

Quality parameters of Belarusian brown coal is close to that of coal mined in Russia’s South Ural basin and Ukraine’s Dnepr basic, which are now explored for energy industry purposes.

Among other possibilities Belarusian brown coal can be burnt in boilers to produce electricity or electricity and heating combined, can be gasified to produce generator gas, can undergo thermochemical processing to produce motor fuel or methanol.

There are highly effective technologies for producing energy out of brown coal and slate coal as well as good experience of using these kinds of energy resources. Belarusian scientists have corresponding solutions, too.