120,000 Belarusians Will Benefit From New Energy Efficiency Project

June 6, 2013

WASHINGTON, June 6, 2013 - The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved a US$90 million loan to Belarus for additional financing for an Energy Efficiency Project. Through this project, the World Bank is partnering with the country to improve energy efficiency and address climate change challenges.

The main benefit of the project is the improvement of energy efficiency in heat and power generation, benefitting 120,000 people,” said Pekka Salminen, World Bank Task Team Leader for the Project. “Moreover, increased energy efficiency will help mitigate the impact of increases in residential energy prices in the future and will result in reduced greenhouse gas emissions from the heat supply facilities.”

Energy efficiency is an important component of the Government’s reform program. Despite significant efforts and impressive results – the country increased its energy efficiency by two and a half time since 1990 – Belarus is still lagging behind many European countries, and there is potential for further improvements.

The additional loan will provide for more improvements in heat and power generation similar to those being implemented under the original US$125 million loan which was approved in 2009. The new loan will finance reconstruction of two combined heat and power plants in the cities of Gomel and Mogilev operating with old gasfired steam boilers to combined cycle gas turbine heat and power plants.

As a result of the original loan and the additional financing, about 145 megawatts of additional electric capacity based on modern gas turbines and engines are being installed. The efficiency of heat and power generation at the project sites will be increased by 15 to 30 percent, and the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions per year is estimated at about 250,000 tons.

The current World Bank investment lending portfolio in Belarus includes 6 operations for a total amount of US$547.5 million.  Since Belarus joined the World Bank in 1992, commitments to the country have totaled US$955 million for 13 projects.  In addition, grant financing totaling US$23.7 million has been provided to about 30 programs including those with civil society organizations.

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