Belarus has decided not to buy electricity from Russia at the prices proposed by Russia, as announced by Energy Minister Vladimir Potupchik, Belta news agency reports.
As of 2018, the country plans to completely stop importing electricity.
The minister made this statement after concluding negotiations with Russia on the purchase of electricity. “We reached the conclusion that we will not buy it at Russia’s prices, instead we will replace it with our own generation,” he said.
Previously, Belarus planned to stop importing electricity in 2020.
Belarusian Deputy Prime Minister spoke about negotiations surrounding the export of electricity. He confirmed the plans to introduce the first unit of the Belarusian nuclear power plant that is under construction in 2019, and the second unit a year later. According to the official, the introduction of this station will make it possible to change the structure of the primary funds, to become independent of natural gas, and to free up roughly 5.5 billion cubic meters of gas. He added that matters of financing for the power plant have been dealt with.
“We have opened a credit line with the Russian Federation for $10 billion on conditions which are quite favorable for Belarus. This will cover 90% of the cost of the construction and assembly operations and equipment needed for the station. We will borrow the other 10% elsewhere,” he noted.
The Belarusian nuclear power plant is being constructed in the Grodno province by the Russian company Atomstroyexport. Russia and Belarus signed an intergovernmental agreement to construct the twin unit nuclear power plant in the spring of 2011. The project is being financed by the Russian Vnesheconombank. The two energy units will have a total capacity of 2400 megawatts.