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The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved financing of $99.3 million for the new Sustainable Energy Scale-Up Project in Belarus. The project aims at improving the energy efficiency in the country by switching heating plants from gas

to woodchips, renovating the heating systems of multiapartment buildings, and by providing technical assistance to the national thermal renovation programme.

The funding is provided by the World Bank ($99.3 million), the European Investment Bank ($99.3 million), and the Global Environment Facility ($3.65 million). The total project cost will be $202.25 million.

The first component of the project will aim to reduce natural gas consumption by replacing gas boilers with biomass boilers, providing wood-chipping equipment and biomass fuel storage facilities and upgrading district heating networks. The second component of the project will target the thermal renovation of multi-apartment buildings in two pilot oblasts – Grodno and Mogilev

“Many Belarusians would be keen to improve the insulation and heating controls in their apartments, but the cost is an issue in most cases. We hope that the grants and long-term credits provided under this project will encourage households to invest in thermal renovation, so they can have more comfortable living conditions, lower heat consumption and an increase in the value of their apartments,” said Alex Kremer, World Bank Country Manager for Belarus.

In September 2019, the government launched a new programme which enables residents to carry out thermal renovation of their residential building, with payments spread up to 15 years and up to 50 percent of costs covered by a government grant. In 2020-2025, the government grants in Grodno and Mogilev oblasts will be financed by the World Bank and the European Investment Bank.

The project is expected to cover about 250 multi-apartment residential buildings. The amounts billed after the comprehensive thermal renovation may be reduced by up to 40 percent.

Since the Republic of Belarus joined the World Bank in 1992, lending commitments to the country have totaled $1.7 billion. The World Bank’s active portfolio in Belarus is composed of eight projects totaling $843.41 million.