23 Nov 2022 12:19

Belarus set to commission 2nd unit of Belarusian NPP in Q1 2023, unit 97% ready - Deputy PM Parkhomchik

MINSK. Nov 23 (Interfax) - It is planned to commission the second reactor unit of the Belarusian Nuclear Power plant in the first quarter of 2023; the unit is more than 97% ready, Belarusian Deputy Prime Minister Pyotr Parkhomchik said.

"The overall readiness of the second unit [of the Belarusian NPP] exceeds 97%. Currently, commissioning work is underway on the main and auxiliary equipment. The commissioning is due in the first quarter of next year," the Belarusian state-run news agency BelTA quoted Parkhomchik as saying at the national parliament on Wednesday.

The first unit is running at its rated capacity, following the first scheduled maintenance, Parkhomchik said. "The first unit had been under scheduled maintenance since April 2022. It was connected to the power grid on November 9 as the scheduled maintenance and additional tests ended. About 200 million kilowatt/hours of electricity have been generated since the end of maintenance," Parkhomchik said.

Over 9.5 billion kilowatt/hours of electricity have been generated by the first unit since its launch in November 2020, which has allowed Belarus to substitute 2.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas, he said.

Belarus is finalizing construction of a nuclear power plant near Ostrovets in the Grodno region by means of Russia's VVER-1200 project. The power plant will have two 1.2GW power units. The ASE Group of Russia's Rosatom state corporation is the general contractor. A Russian state loan of $10 billion funded the construction.

The first unit of the Belarusian NPP was put into commercial operation on June 10, 2021. It began scheduled maintenance on April 25 and was reconnected to the grid on November 9.

The physical launch of the second unit took place at the end of December of last year. Its commissioning had earlier been planned for the end of 2022.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko demanded in August that the Belarusian NPP operate at full capacity. "We should seriously address these issues and wrap up the whole thing. We need to end this faltering, and seriously look into it. The Belarusian NPP should be running at full capacity. The lagging should end," Lukashenko said.