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10 May 2018

Belarus president okays construction of new nitrogen plant, modernization of Grodno Azot

MINSK, 10 May (BelTA) – A new nitrogen plant will be built in Belarus while the large chemical enterprise Grodno Azot will be modernized. The preliminary decision to that effect was made by participants of the government conference held by Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko on 10 May, BelTA has learned.

The head of state was made familiar with three ways of developing the production of nitrogen fertilizers in the country: profound modernization of Grodno Azot, the construction of a new nitrogen plant, and the implementation of both projects. After weighing all the pros and cons and thoroughly discussing possible risks Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko decided in favor of the third option.

Yet Alexander Lukashenko gave instructions to once again consider all the possible variants of implementing the project in detail. He said that prompt decisions were necessary yet prices should be a factor. “We are interested in the cost and the effectiveness of the project,” stressed the head of state.

According to Igor Lyashenko, Chairman of the Belarusian state petrochemical concern Belneftekhim, it will cost more than $1 billion to build a new nitrogen plant. Proceeds are expected to reach $335 million per annum. This is why the payback period will not be short.

“We have been given the instructions we are going to fulfill — further closer look at the risks the project involves,” Igor Lyashenko told media after the government conference. “We intend to approach the construction of the nitrogen plant after the tender to choose the general contractor has been held and after the mentioned matters have been looked into.”

A profound modernization of Grodno Azot will cost about $400 million. The enterprise itself will come up with some of the required sum. Plans have been made to borrow money, too — according to preliminary estimates, as much as $287 million at an interest rate of 6% per annum.

Participants of the government conference also discussed the implementation of other significant investment projects in Belarus. In particular, the head of state was interested in progress in the construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant and in efforts to enable proper living standards for the nuclear power plant personnel in the nearby town of Ostrovets. The state of affairs at the Dobrush paper factory was discussed as well as the state of affairs at Svetlogorsk Pulp and Board Mill. Naftan and Mogilevkhimvolokno were also mentioned.

Alexander Lukashenko also wondered about the fulfillment of his instructions to start manufacturing sport gear and musical instruments in Belarus. The head of state stressed that Belarusian companies should learn how to properly restore old instruments and make new ones. All the more so because the Borisov musical instruments factory was famed for making quality pianos in the past.

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