Belarus ready to export nuclear electricity if necessary

18 May 2021

Although the Belarusian NPP is primarily designed to satisfy the domestic demand for electricity, if necessary, Belarus can export its electricity, Belarus Energy Minister Viktor Karankevich said on 15 May. Unit 1 of the Belarus plant is currently undergoing comprehensive testing of the equipment at the nominal power level as part of the final stage of pilot commercial operation. “We see that electricity is in demand. There are a number of programmes and ways to increase electricity consumption. The Belarus NPP will make a significant contribution both to satisfying the growing demand of the economy and the population and to substituting hydrocarbon fuel,” Karankevich noted.

He added: “Our power grid is self-sufficient. In other words, domestic sources of energy fully satisfy the demand for electricity, but electricity can also be exported. With the commissioning of the Belarus NPP we will have increased possibilities, including for export. We are primarily intent on satisfying the domestic demand, but, if necessary, we can export electricity to the Baltic states and Ukraine. All the technical capabilities are available for it.”

Some 38 billion TWh of electricity was consumed in Belarus in 2020. The figure is expected to increase to 44 TWh by 2025. The Belarus NPP is expected to satisfy about 40% of the country's need for electricity. Belarus NPP will consist of two Russian supplied VVER-1200 power units. The plant was issued a permit for pilot industrial operation of unit 1 in December 2020 and was connected to the grid in March 2021. It is expected that the unit 1 will be put into commercial operation this year and unit 2 in 2022. The general contractor is Atomstroyexport (part of Rosatom).

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