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Opinions & Interviews

10 Jul 2018

Belarus interested in energy efficiency projects

Belarus interested in energy efficiency projects

MINSK, 10 July (BelTA) - Belarus is interested in energy efficiency projects, Deputy Housing and Utilities Minister Vitaly Smirnov told the media on the heels of the ceremony to sign an agreement on the E5P grant of €2 million for a solid waste landfill project in Pukhovichi, BelTA has learned.

“There is a need to attract funds for further modernization the water supply and sewerage systems, treatment of solid domestic waste disposal, thermal modernization of housing and public buildings. Belarus is interested in projects to improve energy efficiency, to build the green economy,” Vitaly Smirnov noted.

In this context, of particular importance is cooperation with the EBRD. According to Vitaly Smirnov, the amount of grant funds allocated for projects in the housing sector with the support of the Bank has reached nearly €33 million. The Housing and Utilities Ministry is set to continue active cooperation with the EBRD, especially given that the Bank's new strategy for Belarus allows for investment in energy infrastructure,” he noted.

The deputy minister emphasized that enhancing economic competitiveness, energy security and energy independence through the measures to improve energy efficiency and to increase the use of local fuel resources is among the priorities for the country. “There is a need for financing energy efficiency projects of residential and public buildings in Minsk and throughout the country, converting boiler houses to use woody biomass. We look forward to continuing our cooperation with the Bank and the Fund,” he said.

BelTA reported earlier that the EBRD is providing 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 Czech government.

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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