World Bank Belarus Country manager Alex Kremer said: “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.”
The project has been designed to improve energy efficiency in the country by transitioning heating plants from gas to woodchips and upgrading heating systems of multi-apartment buildings.
Additionally, it aims to offer technical assistance to the national thermal renovation programme.
It will also involve the replacement of the gas boilers with biomass boilers to minimise natural gas consumption, offering wood-chipping equipment and biomass fuel storage facilities. The upgrade of the existing district heating networks is also covered under this component.
The second component will focus on the thermal overhaul of multi-apartment buildings in the Grodno and Mogilev regions of Belarus. The total cost of the project will be $202.25m, of which World Bank and the European Investment Bank have agreed to provide $99.3m each, and the Global Environment Facility will offer $3.65m.
In September 2019 Belarus launched a new programme under which residents will carry out thermal renovation of their residential building.
Payments for the upgrade were allowed to be made over a period of 15 years with the government covering up to 50% of costs incurred by the residents for the upgrade under a grant.
The upgrade works that will be carried out during 2020-2025 in Grodno and Mogilev will be funded by EIB and World Bank.