Belarusbank to service Chinese loan to build power grid linkup for Belarusian nuclear station

21 November 2013

MINSK (BelTA) – Belarusbank has been chosen to service the $323.817 million preferential-rate buyer loan that the Export-Import Bank of China will grant to the Grodno Oblast electrical company Grodnoenergo for the sake of implementing the investment project to build the power grid linkup for the Belarusian nuclear power plant. The relevant decision is laid down by Council of Ministers resolution No.988 of 18 November 2013. The resolution was published by the national legal information website on 21 November, BelTA has learned.

The loan will be granted in 2013-2018 for a period of 15 years in line with the credit agreement between the Belarus government and the Export-Import Bank of China of 16 July 2013.

The Finance Ministry has been instructed to hand over the Chinese loan to Grodnoenergo and sign the agreement with the company, the Energy Ministry, and Belarusbank on using and repaying the loan. The Finance Ministry will take care of transactions the allocation of the loan involves using the central state budget, in particular, the money set aside for the current fiscal year and consequent fiscal years to service and repay the external public debt.

The Energy Ministry will have to guide Grodnoenergo through the implementation of the investment project, the repayment of the principal debt, the repayment of interest payments, commission fees, and other payments the loan involves as from 1 January 2020. The Energy Ministry has been instructed to make sure that Grodnoenergo uses the loan for the designated purpose and repays the loan on time.

BelTA reported earlier that the project to build the system to collect the electricity that the Belarusian nuclear power plant will generate and the link between the power plant and the rest of the power grid is supposed to begin in January 2014. The first part of the project is supposed to be finished by December 2017. The project is supposed to be implemented using a $323.8 million tied credit line from the Export-Import Bank of China. The money will cover 95% of the cost. The Grodno Oblast electrical company Grodnoenergo will be the customer of the construction project. North China Power Engineering Company (NCPE) has been chosen to be the general contractor for the project. In line with the Grodnoenergo-NCPE contract Belarusian construction and installation companies will have to perform at least 45% of the work involved in implementing the project.

Located at the Ostrovets site in Grodno Oblast, the Belarusian nuclear power plant will boast two power-generating units with the total capacity of up to 2,400MW (1,200MW each). The Russian design AES-2006 was chosen to build the nuclear power plant. The design is compliant with international norms and recommendations of the International Atomic Energy Agency. The first power-generating unit is scheduled to go online in 2018.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus