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27 Jan 2020

Access to EAEU electricity market to benefit Belarus once nuclear power plant goes online

Access to EAEU electricity market to benefit Belarus once nuclear power plant goes online
Igor Komarovsky

MINSK, 27 January (BelTA) – During the spring session Belarusian MPs intend to ratify the protocol on amending the Eurasian Economic Union Treaty of 29 May 2014 with regard to forming a common electric energy market, BelTA learned from Chairman of the Industry, Fuel and Energy Complex, Transport, and Communications Commission of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus Igor Komarovsky on 27 January.

The MP said: “The amendments have to be enacted because the Eurasian Economic Union now has new members among other things – Armenia and Kyrgyzstan. It is a comprehensive document, which covers legal, technical, and commercial aspects. It will allow streamlining trade in electricity on domestic wholesale markets of the Eurasian Economic Union member states in addition to enabling transit to third countries. The matter is extremely important for Belarus at the macroeconomic level and particularly in light of the launch of the Belarusian nuclear power plant.”

According to Igor Komarovsky, access to services of natural monopolies will be secured. As a signatory to the protocol Belarus will be able to diversify electricity import and export. Apart from that, the legal framework for bona fide competition on the electricity market will be enabled. The MP added that Belarus will get the ability to legally perform transit to and from third countries using interstate power lines.

The protocol on the common electricity market of the Eurasian Economic Union relies on a stage-by-stage approach. The approach allows countries to enjoy equal access to natural gas. For Belarus it is an important factor for making competitive offers.

The mutual trade options the protocol offers includes free bilateral agreements, centralized delivery, including 24 hours in advance provided it is economically expedient, and the resolution of hourly deviations of the actual electricity flow from planned figures.

“Belarus believes that once the common natural gas market is established in 2025, the common electricity market will be established as well. Why? Because an overwhelming majority of our producers of electricity use natural gas as primary fuel,” Igor Komarovsky said.

During an expanded-participation session of the relevant parliamentary commission on 27 January Belarusian Deputy Energy Minister Vadim Zakrevsky noted that rules on the common market will be clear and understandable. “Belarus will have to slightly tweak its power grid in order to get successfully integrated into the common EAEU market. I am talking specifically about the separation of competitive and monopolistic kinds of activities. We don’t have that now. In order to join the common market later on, we need to create our own national wholesale market. On the whole, we expect the protocol’s implementation to produce equal business terms,” the official stressed.

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