20 Dec 2023 16:12

BelNPP operations allow for substituting 5.8 bcm of natural gas - Belarusian Energy Ministry

MINSK. Dec 20 (Interfax) - Electricity generation at the BelNPP has reached 21.8 billion kWh, which has made it possible to replace 5.8 billion cubic meters of natural gas, Belarusian Energy Minister Viktor Karankevich said at a press conference in Minsk on Wednesday.

"Currently, the plant operates two power units and produces more than 55 million kWh of electricity every day," Karankevich said.

The minister also commented on a December Bloomberg publication about the situation at the BelNPP in 2022. "There was no dangerous situation. Our main priority is safety and reliability. The head of state set the task that BelNPP should be safe, and this task is being fulfilled. The station operates with two power units, provides electricity generation for the needs of the country, helps to save natural gas, reduce emissions," said Karankevich.

According to him, as part of commissioning works at the first and second power units, the main task was to confirm the output of the equipment and process systems to the design or guaranteed parameters. "There are stage-based programs to achieve these parameters. It was necessary to pass the stages of physical and power start-up, pilot operation, and only after that is there comprehensive testing. At all stages there are several hundred tests to confirm the reliability, safety and operating parameters of this or that equipment, technological systems. If any questions arise, additional time is required to carry out the work. All this work has been completed," the minister said.

BelNPP is located near the town of Ostrovets in the Grodno Region, and is built in line with the Russian VVER-1200 design. The plant consists of two power units with a capacity of 1.2 GW each. The general contractor for the construction is Rosatom's ASE Group. A $10 billion Russian government loan was issued to finance the project. The first unit of the BelNPP came online in November 2020 and was put into commercial operation in June 2021. The second unit was came online in May 2023 and was put into commercial operation on November 1. The first unit was taken out for repeated preventive maintenance from October 6 to December 18, 2023.

Earlier, the Ministry of Energy of Belarus reported that due to commissioning of the BelNPP, natural gas consumption in Belarus in 2023 will be reduced by 12% to 16.7 billion cubic meters.