Belarus eyes cut in gas use

MINSK, Belarus, Sept. 26 Belarus plans to cut gas consumption by 700 cubic meters by 2010, Energy Minister Alyaksandr Azyarets said.

The shortfall will be made up by using energy-saving measures; Belarus plans to save 7.5 million tons of fuel equivalent during the next three years, Belarusian TV reported.

Some $3 billion will be invested in modernizing the energy system's production assets and another $5 billion on energy savings, the report said; $1 billion will be spent on boosting of local fuels.

"We will get reliable and stable energy supplies. We will manage to decrease the energy consumption for the production of one unit of the" gross domestic product, Azyarets said. "We will be saving (energy) and will project the energy-saving percentage for all branches, probably including the population, who should also count money and be involved in energy saving.

"Certainly, all this will be finally reflected in the production costs of electricity and thermal energy."