Deputy premier says Belarus wants to export electricity to Europe

Minsk, May 12, 2009 (BBC Monitoring via COMTEX) -- Belarus is interested in exporting electricity to the European market. First Deputy Prime Minister Uladzimir Syamashka said this today during the president's [Alyaksandr Lukashenka's] visit to Minsk's TETs-3 [thermal power plant 3] to assess progress in implementing the state programme of modernizing the energy system.

"Belarus on 7 May signed an agreement with the EU's Energy Commission on cooperation in energy. We will be jointly considering the possibilities of implementing such projects," he noted.

He said that there are technical problems in implementing the projects. "The current power system is not congruent with the European system," he said.

Furthermore, Syamashka said that the Belarusian government was working on attracting foreign loans for modernizing the country's energy system. "We hope to complete soon talks with China on issuing a 280m-euro loan, which would be allocated to increase the capacities of Minsk's TETs-5. The issues are almost resolved," he noted. The first deputy prime minister recalled that Belarus had already attracted a 52m-dollar Chinese loan for modernizing TETs-2.

Syamashka noted that starting from 2006 more than 3,200bn [Belarusian] roubles (around 1.14bn dollars) was already allocated for the reconstruction of the Belarusian energy system in the framework of the state programme. "Despite the global crisis, 340bn roubles (121m dollars) has been spent for this purpose in the first quarter of the current year," he said, adding that "all the facilities will be put into operation within the terms envisaged by the programme".

Source: ITAR-TASS news agency, Moscow, in Russian 1119 gmt 12 May 09



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