Viktor Karankevich: "The energy intensity of the GDP of Belarus has decreased by 1.2 times over the past 10 years"
On October 12, 2021, Minister of Energy of the Republic of Belarus Viktor Karankevich took part in the opening ceremony of the XXV Belarusian Energy and Environmental Forum “Energy EXPO”.
The Minister noted that this year the forum is timed to coincide with the 90th anniversary of the Belarusian energy system. Its program includes more than 15 events: conferences, round tables, seminars. Their participants cover the main directions for the development of the energy complex, the possibility of strengthening the sector through the consumption of hydrocarbons, and the development of nuclear energy.
“Belarus has taken a course towards increasing energy efficiency and energy saving. Over the past 10 years, it has decreased by 1.2 times. This is an important contribution to enhancing energy security, improving the environment, improving the quality of life of people”, said Viktor Karankevich.
Work on the introduction of innovative technologies, efficient use of energy resources and alternative energy sources in Belarus will continue. The most important priority is the development of nuclear energy.
“The large BelNPP project is not only a guarantee of increasing energy security in Belarus, but also qualitatively new opportunities for the development of the national economy, the most advanced technologies, thousands of new jobs,” the head of the Ministry of Energy notes. With the launch of two blocks, the plant will receive a reliable, environmentally friendly energy source that will provide about 40% of internal electricity needs. Greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by more than 7 million tons annually. Thus, our country will make a significant contribution to the common cause of mitigating the effects of climate change.
The Minister expressed confidence that the Energy EXPO forum will give its participants an opportunity to study experience in the field of energy saving and energy efficiency, exchange knowledge, and outline new promising projects.
The Energy Minister also answered questions from journalists. In particular, he informed about the work being carried out in the energy system to introduce modern technology and digitalization. A good example is the construction of the country's first fully digital substation of 330 kV voltage class "Mogilev 330". In October act of acceptance of the facility into operation was signed. This is one of the basic substations in the power system. The introduction of digital technologies can reduce operating and labor costs, and improve the reliability of power supply. Within the framework of the project, for the first time, damage location devices operating on the wave principle were used on power lines. They make it possible with high accuracy - up to several tens of meters - to determine the location of damage on power lines, respectively. The substation uses the most modern technologies for collecting and transmitting information, digital current and voltage transformers, optical cable transmissions between various devices. For the power industry, this is without exaggeration a project of the future that meets the highest international standards.
Viktor Karankevich also informed about the growth of electricity consumption in the country. So, for 8 months of 2021 by 1.8 billion kWh compared to the same period in 2020 - from 24.6 billion kWh to 26.4 billion kWh. At the same time, the real sector of the economy provided over the period, an increase of 1.1 billion kWh - due to the implementation of an intersectoral set of measures to increase power consumption. The volume of electricity consumption for the period amounted to 200 million kWh, another 500 million kWh is the volume of consumption in the power system.
A question was raised about the work carried out by the Ministry of Energy on energy saving and energy efficiency. The Minister noted that over the past five years, the savings of fuel and energy resources of the Ministry of Energy organizations amounted to almost 1.1 million tons of fuel equivalent. This made it possible to replace the consumption of about 1 billion cubic meters of natural gas. In the energy system, projects are being implemented to improve the energy efficiency of existing energy resources, introduce innovative technologies and remove obsolete equipment, maximize the involvement of fuel and energy resources in the country's fuel and energy balance. Particular attention is paid to reducing losses in the power industry. So, over the past year, the specific consumption of equivalent fuel for the production of electrical energy decreased by 2.2 g / kWh.
Representatives of the media inquired about the progress of work at the BelNPP. As Viktor Karankevich said, the first power unit of the station operates at a nominal capacity of 1170 MW. From the moment of its connection to the integrated power system, almost 4 billion kWh of electricity have been generated. The hot run-in of the reactor facility has been completed at the second power unit. The loading of nuclear fuel into the reactor core of the unit will be completed by the end of this year. The unit is scheduled to be put into commercial operation in 2022.
The journalists also asked what the price of Russian natural gas would be for Belarus. “At the level of heads of state, agreements have been reached. The price for natural gas remains at the level of $ 128.5 per 1,000 cubic meters. Now the necessary documents are being prepared for their signing and further implementation of the agreements for 2022, - said the Minister. According to him, a draft protocol is being prepared to amend the intergovernmental agreement on pricing in the gas sector, as well as a protocol between the Government of Belarus and PJSC Gazprom. These documents are planned to be signed by the end of the year. On their basis, a gas supply contract will be signed.