Belarus has asked Russia for a government loan of $9bn for a period of 25 years for the construction of a 2400 MW nuclear power plant.
According Belarus’ First Deputy Prime Minister Uladzimir Syamashka, Belarus expects to receive deferment of repayment until the plant is completed, that is, until 2017. The loan is to be spent for the construction of both the plant and the necessary infrastructure.
A loan agreement may be signed at a meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Belarusian-Russian Union State in March.
The nuclear power plant, which is to have a generating capacity of around 2400 MW, is to be built in the Hrodna region near the Lithuanian border.
The construction of the plant by a Russian company would cost some $6bn, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said following talks with his Belarusian counterpart, Mikhail Myasnikovich, in Moscow on January 20.
“Russia is ready for the implementation of the project,” Putin said, noting that Moscow was ready to provide Belarus with a loan for funding the project.  Atomstroiexport, a subsidiary company of Russia’s Nuclear Energy State Corporation (Rosatom), was earlier selected by the Belarusian government to be the prime contractor.
Russia initially agreed to provide a $6bn tied loan for the nuclear power plant project, but Minsk wanted the loan to be untied and amount to $9bn.
While meeting with Belarusian First Deputy Prime Minister Uladzimir Syamashka in Minsk on January 25, Rosatom head Sergei Kiriyenko said that the construction of the first unit of the Belarusian nuclear power plant was expected to be completed in 2017, and that a loan agreement between the finance ministries of the two countries would be signed no later than June.
The plant’s foundation pit will start being excavated in September and the excavation work should be largely over before the end of the year, Kiriyenko said.