Updated at 13:53,16-05-2022

Belarus could offer green electricity to EU, expert says

By Maryna Nosava, BelaPAN

Belarus could offer green electricity to EU, expert says
Belarus could offer electricity generated from alternative sources to the European Union in the event of the EU’s refusal to purchase electricity from the Belarusian Nuclear Power Plant, Uladzimir Nistsyuk, executive director of an association called Renewable Energy, told BelaPAN in Minsk on Tuesday ahead of a Belarusian-German conference.

According to Mr. Nistsyuk, there is a threat that the development of alternative sources of energy in Belarus may come to a halt because of the construction of the Belarusian Nuclear Power Plant. The Belarusian government is already taking steps to prevent competition for the future plant, he said.

He pointed out that up to nine percent of electricity is lost in transmission. “There will be huge economic losses if we transmit electricity from the north of the Hrodna region where the nuclear power plant is being built to the very south of the country,” he said.

Mr. Nistsyuk dismissed claims that the electricity coming from the Belarusian Nuclear Power Plant would be cheaper than from other sources. “The energy ministry already acknowledges the fact that the loan for the construction of the nuclear power plant will total $11 billion,” he said. “If the Lithuanians buy some electricity from us after all, synchronization will cost additional $650 million. And if we extend the [transmission] networks and not on wooden poles, they will cost additional $2 billion. This is a very expensive pleasure.”

Mr. Nitsyuk also warned that the nuclear power plant might not be put into operation on time because of "political and geopolitical" factors, such as the potential suspension of Russian financing or an EU embargo.

“If we manage to change Lithuania’s opinion through diplomatic channels, it will be possible to sell them and other EU countries Belarusian electricity generated not by the nuclear power plant but electricity from green sources, and the nuclear power plant’s electricity will be used for domestic purposes,” he said.

Speaking to reporters at the construction site for the Belarusian Nuclear Power Plant on May 26, Aleksandr Surikov, the Russian ambassador to Belarus, said that two more reactors may be built in addition to the nuclear power plant`s two that are currently under construction.

Commenting on Mr. Surikov’s remarks, Lithuanian Deputy Energy Minister Simonas Satunas said with reference to preliminary estimates that the "two reactors under construction at present are already too many."

Mr. Satunas warned that Lithuania would not buy electricity from the Belarusian Nuclear Power Plant, which it views as unsafe. "I don’t know to what country other than Russia Belarus will be supplying this electricity," Lithuania`s news website delfi.lt quoted him as saying.

The deputy minister also said that the price of electricity to be generated by the Belarusian facility remains unknown.

He warned that the handling of nuclear waste may considerably raise the cost of the plant`s electric power.