OREANDA-NEWS. October 14, 2008. Over US1 billion will be invested in the energy sector of Belarus in 2008, First Vice-Premier Vladimir Semashko said at an opening ceremony of the Belarusian Energy and Ecology Forum in Minsk, reported the Official website www.government.by.

According to him, three years ago the investments in the energy industry were US 0.5 billion. The state has necessary financial resources to develop power engineering; Belarus is also interested in raising private investment in this industry.

Vladimir Semashko said that by 2010 the country seeks to reduce the GDP energy intensity by 31% over 2005. The deterioration of the key production assets of the Belarusian energy system is projected to go do to 45%, which will ensure its reliable and effective operation. An important goal is to increase the share of local fuels to 25% by 2012.

In this connection the Belarusian Energy and Ecology Forum plays an important role in addressing these challenges by showcasing advanced technology, promoting their prompt implementation, Vladimir Semashko said. He wished the participants of the forum to establish mutually beneficial contacts and reach agreements to implement new projects.

Taking part in the 13th Belarusian Energy and Ecology Forum are around 300 companies and organisations from 16 countries.

The programme features the 13th international specialized exhibition “Energy. Ecology. Energy Saving. Nuclear Energy” (EnergyExpo), 4th specialized exhibition of lighting technology "ExpoLight," 3rd specialized Water and Air Technology exhibition and 13th Belarusian Energy and Ecology Congress.

The exhibitions are aimed at presenting advanced equipment and technology to produce and distribute electrical and heat energy, automated systems, energy and resource saving technology. This year equipment and technology for nuclear power stations will be showcased for the first time. The nuclear energy exposition is presented by 15 companies form Belarus, Russia, Germany and Sweden.

EnergyExpo is one of the biggest energy exhibitions in the CIS and Baltic countries. The total area is more than 10,000 square metres.

A plenary meeting of the Belarusian Energy and Ecology Congress will take place on October 15. It will focus on the development of nuclear energy in Belarus, state policy in energy saving and implementation of the measures stipulated in Directive No 3 on economy and thrift. The congress will analyze the state of the fuel and energy industry and review the strategy of its development.

The organizing committee is headed by Energy Minister of Belarus Alexander Ozerets. The organizers include the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, Industry, Housing and Utilities, State Committee for Science and Technology, National Academy of Sciences, Energy Efficiency Department of the State Standard Service and other departments. The forum will stay open by October 17.

Belarus is interested in attracting private investors into the energy industry, First Vice Premier of Belarus Vladimir Semashko said during the opening of the Belarusian Energy Forum in Minsk.

He remarked corresponding legislation is being developed to encourage investments into the industry.

“A draft law is being developed for energy industry, electric power industry as a whole. A draft law is being prepared for [power] sources fuelled by renewable energy resources and locally available fuels,” said Vladimir Semashko. “The key thing is that these sources can be not only state ones. They can be built by private companies”.

“We are glad to welcome investors and are always ready to discuss their proposals,” added the First Vice Premier. Yet he underscored Belarus primarily focuses on its own resources. In 2008 over US1 billion will be channelled into the development of the Belarusian energy industry.