Posted: 24.10.2023 17:36:00

Unifying energy

The 27th Belarusian energy and ecology forum took place in Minsk

As part of the event, international specialised exhibitions Energy. Ecology. Energy Saving. Electro (ENERGY EXPO), Innovative Industrial Technologies (Green INDUSTRY), Salon of Innovative Transport E-TRANS, Technologies for the Petrochemical Industry (OIL & GAS Technologies), Atomexpo-Belarus, ExpoSVET, Water and Air Technologies and ExpoCity. More than 200 enterprises and organisations from Belarus and Russia took part in the forum, presenting over 250 different developments and innovative projects.
The EnergyExpo exhibition has traditionally attracted the attention of leading domestic and global manufacturers of equipment, technologies and materials for energy, electrical engineering, ecology and energy saving since 1995 and is one of the largest on this topic in the CIS and Baltic countries. 
During the event, enterprises and organisations presented modern equipment and technologies for the production and distribution of electrical and thermal energy, automated systems, energy and resource-saving technologies. The structure of the exposition included industry sections of the Energy Ministry, the Belarusian State Concern for Oil and Chemistry, the State Committee for Standardisation, the State Committee for Science and Technology, the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, the Education Ministry and the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Ministry.
Emphasising the importance of the forum, Energy Minister Viktor Karakevich noted, “Over the years of its existence, the forum has become the largest business and exhibition platform for the fuel and energy complex, which promotes the widespread introduction of the latest technologies and services in the industry, as well as high-tech projects aimed at strengthening the energy security of Belarus.”

He also noted the contribution that the nuclear power plant makes not only to preventing climate change, but also to strengthening the energy security of Belarus, “Since the inclusion of the first power unit into the unified energy system, which took place on November 3rd, 2020, the BelNPP has generated more than 20 billion kWh of electricity, which made it possible to replace 5.3 billion cubic metres of natural gas. Reduction of foreign exchange burden on the economy amounted to over $650 million.”
Viktor Karankevich said that the second power unit of the BelNPP is planned to be put into commercial operation by the end of the year. The minister emphasised that Belarus has implemented all IAEA recommendations. Cooperation between Belarus and the IAEA will continue. In particular, preparations for the next mission of the OSART Agency — on operational safety — will begin in the near future. It is envisaged that the IAEA mission will visit Belarus in 2025.
The busy business programme of the forum included 18 events, including conferences, seminars, round tables, and presentations of companies participating in the exhibition. During the business program, issues of ESG transformation and sustainable development were considered; digitalisation of production, fuel and energy and petrochemical complexes; energy storage systems using lithium-ion batteries to ensure uninterrupted power supply to industrial facilities in Belarus; reality and prospects of electric transport and many others.
A number of significant agreements were signed on the sidelines of the forum, including agreements between Belarus and the state corporation Rosatom on strategic cooperation in the energy sector.
First Deputy Chairman of the Presidium of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus Sergei Chizhik spoke about the priority areas of environmental development in Belarus at the scientific and practical conference ESG Transformation and Sustainable Development as part of the Energy Expo forum.  
Now in Belarus there is a slightly different view of energy — it is no longer just about obtaining energy and using it. “Now the focus is on obtaining green energy, minimising environmental problems and saving available energy. Serious changes are taking place before our eyes. The second unit of a nuclear power plant is starting to operate in Belarus. We already feel that we are starting to consume more electrical energy. If the country relies on electric energy, which means it is more advanced, flexible and environmentally friendly. We are no longer surprised at all by electric cars — a significant part of the cars on the streets are electric,” noted Sergei Chizhik.

Some developments presented at Energy Expo
Electric cargo vehicle
The vehicle with a frame-panel body was developed by the Joint Institute of Mechanical Engineering of the National Academy of Sciences. The electric vehicle is designed to transport passengers and cargo on public roads, in closed areas and in protected environmental zones.
►Electric scooters
The main advantage of electric scooters from the Optron instrument-making plant is environmental friendliness and cost-effectiveness. Two models with a range of up to 60 kilometres  are presented: with a maximum speed of 25 km/h and 50 km/h.
►Automated gas metering system
The software and hardware complex allows for automatic metering of gas consumption (remote collection, transmission and analysis of readings), leakage monitoring with the ability to remotely close shut-off valves. This uses wireless data transmission technology.
►Republican System of Automated Environmental Monitoring
The system combines monitoring data of atmospheric air, precipitation and snow cover, is capable of promptly reflecting complete and accurate information, allows improving the processes of recording and quality control 
of the received data, speeds up and simplifies the process 
of obtaining and using them.
►Active layers for solar cells
This is a development of Francysk Skaryna Gomel State University. Active layers based on organic-inorganic sol-gel coatings containing nanopowders can be used in solar cells to increase their efficiency. The coatings have increased mechanical strength and hydrophobic properties.

By Vera Arteaga

Photos by belta and Aleksey Vyazmitinov