Lukashenko approves Belarus draft Energy Security Concept

MINSK, September 11 (Itar-Tass) - President Alexander Lukashenko has approved a draft Energy Security Concept (ESC) of Belarus for a period ending in 2020.

A presidential press service official has told Itar-Tass, "Unlike the ESC endorsed by the President in 2005, the new document, approved Monday, is a larger-scale and comprehensive one. It takes into account the situation that has taken shape on the market of energy resources, including that connected with the increase in the prices of energy resources supplied from Russia".

One of the main new features of the new document is that a long-term balance of fuel-and-energy resources has been elaborated for the first time to cover the period ending in 2020. Plans for a further socio-economic and innovations-based development of the Republic will be drawn up on the strength of that balance.

According to the draft ESC, work is to be continued to diversify the fuel-and-energy resources used. In particular, it is planned to build three coal-fired stations in Brest, Grodno, and Gomel regions with capacities of about 800-850 megawatts.

Matters concerning the formation of reserves of energy resources have been thoroughly worked out in the new document. Thus, it is planned to bring into being gas storage facilities by 2020 to ensure an uninterrupted functioning of the economy for 45 winter days and nights.

The draft ESC also provides for the creation of gas storages of fuel oil to enable the economy to function without gas consumption for not less than 50 winter days. At the same time, the President set a task of reaching out to Europe's generally accepted indicator: fuel oil reserves must suffice for not less than 90 winter days.