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Belarus, WB sign $90m loan deal for energy efficiency project

MINSK, 25 June (BelTA) – Belarus and the World Bank signed a loan agreement for a $90 million additional financing for the country’s energy efficiency project, BelTA learnt from the bank.

The loan was approved by the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors on 6 June 2013. The loan agreement was signed by Chairman of the State Committee for Standardization of the Republic of Belarus Viktor Nazarenko and World Bank Regional Director for Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine Qimiao Fan.

The additional financing will bring direct benefits to 120,000 people and will help address climate change challenges. Annual reduction of carbon dioxide emissions is estimated at about 250,000 tonnes. The loan envisages a great deal of events on enhancing energy efficiency in heat and power generation similar to those being implemented under the original $125 million loan which was approved in 2009.

The additional loan will finance reconstruction of two CHP plants in the cities of Gomel and Mogilev operating with old gas-fired steam boilers to combined cycle gas turbine heat and power plants. About 145MW of additional electric capacity based on modern gas turbines and engines are being installed following the original loan and the additional financing. The efficiency of heat and power generation at the project sites will be increased by 15 to 30 percent.

The current World Bank investment lending portfolio in Belarus includes 5 operations for a total amount of $547.5 million. Since Belarus joined the World Bank in 1992, commitments to the country have totaled $955 million for 13 projects. In addition, grant financing totaling $23.7 million has been provided to about 30 programs including those with civil society organizations.