Belarus plans to import more electricity from Russia and Ukraine next year and is talking price and volume with its two neighbors, the deputy general director at Belenergo, Mikhail Luzin, said at a Thursday press conference in Minsk.
"In order that we will have an opportunity to do maintenance and repair work on facilities in the Belarusian power system, we are planning a certain amount of electrical-power import purchases in Russia and in Ukraine," Luzin said.
He did not say how much power might be imported, but did say that it would depend solely on the prices offered.
Belarusian energy-system capacity is able to meet all consumer demand for electricity and thermal energy as the country's economy grows next year, as it is expected to, Luzin said.
It was reported, citing Ukrainian Fuel and Energy Ministry data, that Ukraine figures to send Belarus up to 2.5 billion kWh of electrical power next year, which would roughly correspond to the plan for this year. The two countries are negotiating now, discussing volume and pricing formula.
Belarus imported 2.571 billion kWh of power from Ukraine in Jan-Nov this year, which was 57.7% more year-on-year.
Such sales resumed in June of last year after a two-year interruption. Last December, Ukrinterenero extended a contract concluded with Belenergo that year stipulating delivery of up to 4 billion kWh. That would put a full load on the power lines running between the two countries and linking their energy grids.
As per government-level deals between Belenergo and Russia's power import-export monopoly Inter RAO UES for the Union State's fuel and energy balance this year, Russia planned to send its partner-state 3 billion kWh of electricity this year and another up to 2.5 billion kWh on terms of the principles of commercial expediency.
However, as the year began, Moscow and Minsk had serious differences on delivery terms, as well as on the transit of Russian electrical power. Contract talks lasted until the end of January, when a deal was signed on commercial terms. The parties agreed to guarantee delivery from Russia of 3 billion kWh of power to Belarus.
However, Belarus did not import electric energy from Russia in 2010, despite the agreement in hand. And Belarus shut down for repair the interstate high-tension power lines linking Smolensk Atomic Power Station in Russia with the Belorusskaya substation, through which Russian power flows to the Baltic states and Kaliningrad region, as well to Belarus itself. Belarus said the repairs would be completed by end-2010.