The Belarus energy company Belenergo is about to sign a credit agreement with a Chinese government owned bank to finance construction of the Vitebsk 40 MW hydropower plant planned to be built on the Western Dvina River by 2015. This will replace about 42 000 tonnes of fuel equivalent per year.

A contract with China National Electric Equipment Corporation was signed in December 2010. The Chinese company will carry out design, construction, supply of the equipment and its installation, adjustment and commissioning. The corporation will also test the plant and put it into operation as well as maintaining it during the warranty period.

Belenergo continues to work on construction of the 22 MW Polotsk hydropower plant on the Western Dvina (Vitebsk Oblast) which is scheduled to come on stream in 2014. The project is being implemented, including through a loan from the Eurasian Development Bank.

Belarus’ biggest hydropower capacities are concentrated in Grodno, Vitebsk and Mogilev Oblasts on the Neman, Western Dvina and Dnieper rivers. Current plans include the construction of two hydropower plants on the Neman River with a total capacity of 37MW, four on the Western Dvina (112MW) and four more on the Dnieper (20.3MW). Once they enter service, Belenergo’s total hydropower capacity will be nearly 180 MW.