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Energy ministry: No comment yet on Russian envoy's electricity cost calculations

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Reuters

Belarus’ Energy Ministry has declined to comment on information that the product cost of electricity to be produced by the Belarusian nuclear power plant (BNPP) will amount to $0.04 per kilowatt. The cost was announced by Belarusian economist Yaraslau Ramanchuk who on Tuesday met with Russian Ambassador in Minsk Mikhail Babich. The Russian envoy would not elaborate on how this number was calculated.

“In no way can I comment on this information. Perhaps, some new numbers will be released soon but at the moment I am not in position to tell you anything,” Energy Ministry’s spokeswoman Zhanna Zenkevich told Euroradio.

She reminded that electric energy’s product cost in Belarus currently stands at $0.07 per kilowatt.

The Belarusian nuclear power plant is being built near the border with Lithuania on the money from a Russian loan. Mr Babich might have taken the cost number from the feasibility calculations attached to the loan contract. However, the feasibility document does not take into account several additional expenditures Belarus will need to make in order to use electricity produced by BNNP.

Economist Leanid Frydkin lists the following such expenses: construction of supporting infrastructure, new back-up energy sources, construction of power transmission lines to connect BNPP with the country’s grid, storage of the used nuclear fuel and radioactive waste, upgrading the energy system from wood fuel and natural gas to nuclear energy. At least $1 billion will be needed to disconnect BNPP.