EBRD co-funds 4,380MWh biogas plant in Belarus

A waste-to-biogas plant funded by a framework agreement between the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the government of Belarus has started operation in the city of Baranovichi.

According to an EBRD statement, the new biogas power plant is expected to achieve significant energy and cost savings, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the volume of sludge. Complying with EU regulations, the new facility will generate 4,380 MWh of electricity and 3,880 Gcal of heat each year from biogas extracted from wastewater sludge.

EBRD provided a €2.9 million sovereign loan for the construction of the facility. This investment was complemented by an additional €1.4 million grant for capital expenditure and €0.8 million for project implementation consultancy work from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).

The opening ceremony for the new biogas power plant was attended by a host of Belarussian politicians, including First Deputy Prime Minister Anatoliy Kalinin, as well as Sweden’s ambassador to Belarus, Christina Johannesson and EBRD Senior Banker Renata Iksar.

“The construction of the sludge digester in Baranovichi is a good example of international cooperation in Belarus. It is part of a wider programme for the upgrading of wastewater services in five Belarussian cities in which Sweden is actively participating,” Johannesson said in an EBRD statement.

“The goal of this programme is to reduce emissions to the Baltic Sea and to support the Belarussian cities to comply with HELCOM requirements. Following the successful completion of the first project in Baranovichi we are now looking forward to the finalisation of our projects in Slonim, Vitebsk, Brest and Grodno.”

HELCOM – the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission – Helsinki Commission, is the governing body of the Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area. Focused on protecting the marine environment of the Baltic Sea, HELCOM is an environmental policy makes and supervisory body.

The new biogas plant in Barnovichi, a city in the west of Belarus with a population of 170,000 people, is part of broader investment in the country’s infrastructure and wastewater services. EBRD, Sida, and the Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership are providing a total of €27.2 million to three municipalities.

EBRD and the government of Belarus are aiming to set an example for better environmental management at the municipal level, and raise quality standards to meet local and EU regulations.

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