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Russia to resume electric energy supply to Belarus on 30 June

Russia’s INTER RAO UES will resume electric energy supply to Belarus on 30 June, BelTA learnt from Aide to the Belarusian Energy Minister Lyudmila Zenkovich.

“The technical services of the two parties agreed upon resuming the electric energy supply at 0.30am on 30 June,” Lyudmila Zenkovich said.

The import of Russia’s electric energy to Belarus stopped at midnight on 29 June because of the delay in payment of the second tranche of the debt for the electricity supply in March-May 2011.

According to Lyudmila Zenkovich, the delay in payment of the second tranche was due to the difficulties in the banking operations. To solve the issue, Belenergo had to apply to BPS-Bank for credit resources. At 6pm Belenergo made the second tranche to INTER RAO UES to pay off the debt for Russian electricity

In early June, Belarus’ debt was RUB1.5 billion. Belarusian and Russian representatives met in Moscow on 10 June to discuss the debt repayment schedule. Following the meeting, the sides signed the payment schedule according to which Belarus pledged to repay the March-May debt before 5 July in three tranches. The first tranche equaling about one-third of the total debt was made by Belenergo on 14 June. The second tranche was scheduled for 20 June, but Belarus failed to keep to the schedule due to the lack of foreign currency funds.

Imports of Russian electricity account for only 12% of Belarus’ needs. In 2011 Belarus intends to import 3 billion kWh of electricity from Russia in line with the contract with INTER RAO UES.

However, Belarusian consumers are not dependent on electricity imports since the country has enough energy-generation facilities. For example, the total power consumption in Belarus in 2010 amounted to 37.46 billion kWh. Of them 32.3 billion kWh was produced by Belenergo, 2.26 billion kWh by isolated generating plants. In January-May 2011 the electricity output made up 14 billion kWh. Electricity is imported primarily to diversify the country’s energy consumption mix as well as for economic reasons.

INTER RAO UES is the Russian energy company, operating a number of generation and distribution assets in Russia and abroad. The installed capacity is around 28 GW.

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