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28 Sep 2020

Belarus-Russia Union State eyes energy-intensive projects as BelNPP goes online

Belarus-Russia Union State eyes energy-intensive projects as BelNPP goes online

ZHODINO, 28 September (BelTA) – The Union State needs to work on large energy-intensive projects in the light of the launch of the Belarusian nuclear power plant, State Secretary of the Union State Grigory Rapota said as he addressed the panel discussion "Joint projects as a factor of stable economic development of Belarus and Russia” during the 7th Forum of Regions of Belarus and Russia" in Minsk Oblast on 28 September,  BelTA has learned.

“The largest energy project is the Belarusian nuclear power plant. Before it reaches the designed capacity, we need to start working on large energy-intensive projects. Among them can be joint projects in energy-intensive manufactures: metallurgy, glass production, petrochemicals, production of electric vehicles, components and power units," Grigory Rapota said. According to him, Izhevsk, Nizhny Novgorod and Minsk have the production facilities for such projects.

A project to build a high-speed highway St. Petersburg - Minsk - Warsaw - Hamburg almost 2,500km long is another promising project.  The Union State Standing Committee has started working on this idea, developed a business model, held consultations in four states which may become part of the project. “This project is hailed by everyone. If it is implemented, it will become the biggest project of a high-speed highway on the European continent,” Grigory Rapota stressed.

In his words, banking and financial institutions are showing big interest in the project. “We have suggested public-private partnership with the focus on private funds. A train travels some 13-14 hours from St. Petersburg to Minsk. We need to switch to a new technological level, the highest one. The project is currently being considered at the governmental level. I hope that with the support of lawmakers the project will be implemented,” he said.

Another transnational project is Meridian Highway which is to connect China and Europe via Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation and Belarus.

The work to lift roaming charges in the Union State continues. “The communications ministries promised at their recent meeting that the issue will be solved by 1 October (technically it will take some more time),” Grigory Rapota said.

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