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New EBRD funded biogas plant inaugurated in Belarus

The ancient town of Slonim in western Belarus, home to almost 50 000 people, has become one of the first municipalities in the country to receive state-of-the-art biogas facilities financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which will help achieve significant energy savings while improving wastewater treatment capabilities.

Slonim in western Belarus, home to almost 50 000 people, has become one of the first municipalities in the country to receive state-of-the-art biogas facilities financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which will help achieve significant energy savings while improving wastewater treatment capabilities (photo courtesy EBRD).

Slonim, selected among several Belarusian municipalities for the implementation of energy-efficient and environmentally friendly water and wastewater treatment improvements, has now received two biogas cogeneration units with an installed capacity of 136 kWth each.

Financed with a EUR 2.85 million EBRD loan, the units will produce around 2 GWh of clean energy annually and satisfy around 70 percent of the energy consumption needs of Slonim’s wastewater treatment plant (WWTP).

An official ceremony marking the launch of the biogas facilities was held on February 27, 2020, and attended by the Chairman of the Slonim rayon Council of deputies Oleg Targonsky, the First Secretary of the Embassy of Sweden to Belarus Gunilla Davidsson and EBRD Head of Belarus Alexander Pivovarsky.

The investment was supported by grant funding from the government of Sweden and benefited from financial contributions from Austria and Finland.

The amount of energy annually generated by the new biogas facilities will be enough to provide street lighting for a municipality much larger than Slonim or fully cover the energy needs of 1 120 average Belarusian households.

The facilities will help generate significant savings of fossil fuels – an annual equivalent of more than 500 000 Nm3 of gas or more than 625 000 litres of oil. Likewise, annual carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions will be reduced by more than 246 000 tonnes.

The benchmark project is expected to pave the way for similar energy-efficient solutions in other Belarusian municipalities and help adopt better wastewater sludge treatment practices, which may be eventually processed into biofertilisers.

Since the start of its operations in Belarus in 1992, the EBRD has invested almost EUR 2.9 billion in 130 projects in various sectors of the country’s economy.

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