Lacking a sufficient energy resource base, Belarus relies heavily on imported natural gas to meet domestic needs. Annual costs related to energy imports (mainly from Russia) amount to about 22 percent of GDP. District heating represents an important share of Belarus's energy system and greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time Belarus has abundant forest resources which it sustainably manages through certification and other standards.
The project aims to replace the use of natural gas with a local renewable fuel source (wood biomass: wood chips and wood wastes) supplied by certified forestry companies in 13 district heating systems. In addition, it supports improvements in the district heating system to reduce heat losses and other efficiency losses.