Lukashenko holds meeting to discuss development of Belarus' energy sector


Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko heard out a report on the development of the Belarusian energy sector on 3 June.

The meeting was attended by Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Nazarov, Belarus President's Aide Aleksandr Kosinets and Energy Minister Viktor Karankevich, BelTA has learned.

The head of state remarked that the capacity of the Belarusian energy system exceeded 10,000MW. Its “blood” system includes more than 280,000 kilometers of electric networks and 7,500 kilometers of heat networks. The energy system generates about 4% of the country's gross domestic product.

“This is a huge industry, especially with the launch of the new energy source – the Belarusian nuclear power plant. First of all, I would like to be informed about the operation of the first power-generating unit. Moreover, we are ready to accept it into operation. How was the power plant tested? Is it ready for commercial operation?” Aleksandr Lukashenko wondered.

He also asked about the prospects of using nuclear energy. “A lot has been said that with the commissioning of the new power plant we will have a big supply of electricity. What is the state of affairs: the domestic demand – prospects in all areas (from the population to manufacturing, the real production sector of the economy) – and export?” the president asked.

Viktor Karankevich reported that the energy system sustainably and reliably supplies electricity and heat energy to consumers.

“As far as I understand, there are a few minor issues, but our workers of the energy sector are doing a good job. In general, they have never disappointed us,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. He remarked that even if some incidents emerge workers of the energy sector “are doing their job like soldiers or even better”.

The minister added that the modernization of major production facilities is in progress on a systematic basis, measures to integrate the Belarusian nuclear power plant and increase electricity consumption in the country are implemented. “The construction of electric boilers at Belenergo facilities is completed, the installed capacity was 916MW at the end of 2020. The construction of peak and reserve energy sources at four large power stations in Belarus is underway. In January-April 2021 the output of electricity was 14.4 billion kWh. It increased by 9.4% on the last year's volume. If necessary, we can do more,” Viktor Karankevich said.

Energy Minister Viktor Karankevich told reporters that pilot operation has finished at the first power-generating unit so far, comprehensive testing of the reactor installation at the nominal capacity for 15 days was done. A comprehensive testing act was signed on 29 May. “Since the launch of the first power-generating unit more than 2.6 billion kWh has been produced. According to calculations, it allowed replacing about 670 million cubic meters of natural gas,” the minister said. He acceptance procedure has been determined, a license for operation has been issued.

As for the second power-generating unit, it is now 85% ready. “The hydro-testing of equipment and technological systems of the first and second circuits is underway,” Viktor Karankevich said. In his words, fresh nuclear fuel for the second power-generating unit was delivered to the site of the Belarusian nuclear power plant in April 2021. It has been tested and is now in storage. “In the autumn we plan to load the fresh nuclear fuel to the second power-generating unit. It will be the beginning of the physical launch. Plans have been made to include the second power-generating unit to the network and to start producing electricity at the end of 2021 – the beginning of 2022,” he said.

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