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10 Jul 2018

E5P might allocate €17m in grants for green projects in Belarus

MINSK, 10 July (BelTA) – The E5P fund might provide about €17 million in grants to implement green projects in Belarus, Deputy Economy Minister of Belarus Dmitry Matusevich said on 10 July at a ceremony to sign the grant agreement to allocate €2 million to improve solid waste management in Pukhovichi, BelTA has learned.

“E5P has launched its operations in Belarus today. A corresponding agreement was signed last year to make it possible. We have received an excellent opportunity to raise grants to implement investment projects in energy efficiency and green economy. The E5P fund for Belarus starts its operations with €17 million,” he noted.

Dmitry Matusevich specified that these are the resources of the European Union (€10 million), Sweden (€5 million), Germany (€1 million), Poland (€150,000), and Estonia (€60,000). Belarus also contributed €1 million.

“Today the first agreement was signed to provide €2 million to construct a regional landfill in Pukhovichi. We will closely follow the progress on this project, because higher efficiency of the housing and utilities sector, including better solid waste management, is one of the priorities of the government,” he noted.

In his words, Belarus is now working on new projects that could be implemented in cooperation with E5P. These are projects in the housing and utilities sector, transport, fuel and energy complex. “We have already embarked on drafting other investment projects with the EBRD and we hope to raise the fund’s grant for them. They include a project to raise energy efficiency of the housing stock in Minsk. This project needs about €5 million in grant money to be implemented. The Minsk Oblast Executive Committee has suggested expanding this project to cover other localities in the region. Another project provides for the upgrade of the water management system in eight Belarusian towns. This project needs over €10 million in grant money,” he informed.

Head of the EBRD Office in Belarus Alexander Pivovarsky said that E5P was set up to finance energy efficiency projects aimed to reduce the use of non-renewable energy sources. “Belarus and the neighboring countries have everything in place to implement such projects. We hope that a whole set of such initiatives will be launched in the public and private sectors in the future. This project is just a beginning,” he said.

The EBRD provides a government loan of up to €5 million for a new solid waste management company to be established by the Minsk Oblast Executive Committee for Pukhovichi District and Cherven District. The loan will be used to fund the development of the advanced solid waste management system covering collection and treatment of MSW in these districts. The loan will be co-financed by the donors’ grant worth up to €2 million from the E5P Fund.

The new waste treatment company will be the first in Belarus to fully comply with the EU standards. The project is consistent with the EBRD Green Economy Transition. It will help improve the standards of governance in the utilities sector. The enterprise will be designed, built and put into operation in accordance with the EU directive on landfills. Technical support for the preparation of the project was provided by the Government of Czechia.

Since the start of its operations in Belarus in 1992, the EBRD has invested over €2 billion in some 95 projects in various sectors of the country's economy.

The Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environmental Partnership (E5P) is a €180 million multi-donor fund initiated during the Swedish Presidency of the European Union in 2009 to encourage municipal investments in energy efficiency and environmental projects in the Eastern Partnership region.

The E5P participates in projects as a co-financier. Loans are provided by participating agencies such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), European Investment Bank (EIB), International Finance Corporation (IFC), KfW, Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO), and World Bank Group. E5P participants include the EU and United States and also Armenia, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovak Republic, Sweden, Ukraine and Belarus.

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