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Belarus and Russia sign general contract for construction of Belarusian nuclear power station
The general contract defines the obligations and liabilities of each party, as well as terms and approximate cost (until 2020): conditions of payments, equipment supplies, organisation of construction and acceptance of energy units. The first nuclear power reactor should become operational by November 2018, with the second ready by July 2020.
The core principle is that the cost of the Belarusian nuclear station has been determined using the same methods as those used in building nuclear power plants in Russia — adjusted with a base and index method. The cost of the Belarusian nuclear power station also shouldn’t exceed the cost of the Baltic nuclear power station, under comparable conditions. Russia is ready to give Belarus a privileged long-term state loan worth up to $10bn, with a 25 year payback period.
The nuclear power station will enable Belarus to annually save around 5bn cubic metres of imported natural gas, while reducing the prime cost of electricity generation. It will also decrease the level of greenhouse gas emissions by 7-10m tonnes and considerably enhance energy security.
The Belarusian nuclear power station, consisting of two energy units with a capacity of up to 2,400MW (2 x 1,200), is to be constructed in the Grodno Region’s Ostrovets. The NPP-2006 project has been chosen, fully meeting international requirements and IAEA recommendations. On October 11th, 2011, a contract was signed, including framework agreements for construction and major guidelines on terms.
On the eve of the Union State Council of Ministers meeting in Minsk, a general contract was signed. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev noted, “This is our most major project, with a total cost of around $10bn. I hope it will have the necessary ‘multiplication’ effect, becoming a flagship of Russian-Belarusian interaction.” He asserts that other spheres of liaison remain important and expressed confidence that these will be implemented.