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Belarus, China to set up joint venture to construct soda ash plant

MINSK, 22 July (BelTA) – Belarus and China have reached an agreement to implement a joint venture to construct a soda ash plant, Belarus’ Architecture and Construction Minister Anatoly Nichkasov told media on 19 July, BelTA has learnt.

According to the Minister, during the official visit of the Belarusian President to China the sides agreed to get down to the implementation of the project to build the soda ash plant in Belarus. “In 2010 we signed a contractual arrangement and a loan agreement with China’s Export-Import Bank. However, this project was not launched either in 2011 or in 2012 because at that time the requirement regarding the creation of the project with high added value, laid down by the head of state, was not fulfilled,” Anatoly Nichkasov said.

Nevertheless the sides have resolved the problem. A plant to produce soda ash from domestic raw materials will be constructed using the earlier issued loan. “This will be a highly productive plant which will provide Belarus with domestically produced soda ash. We have met with the leadership of the CITIC company and China Chemical Corporation and agreed to arrange a tender. The winning company will get the right to be a shareholder in the project and a co-investor,” the Belarusian official noted.
He added that the project is of high importance for Belarus as glass industry companies, which have recently doubled their capacity, are in need for double the amount of soda ash. The Minister underlined that in the foreign markets this product is quite expensive.