Industry Trend Analysis - Nuclear To Open Up Power Export Opportunities - MAR 2018

BMI View: Although gas-fired power will remain the dominant source of electricity output in Belarus, the country's reliance on gas will decrease with the completion of 2.4GW of nuclear by 2020. As a result of the increase in electricity output, Belarus will have sufficient electricity for exports. While Polish and Lithuanian opposition to Belarusian nuclear will make exports more difficult, the country's membership of the Eurasian Economic Union will give it access to other export markets.

Key trends and developments in the Belarusian power sector include:

  • Gas-fired power is forecast to remain the dominant source of electricity generation in Belarus over our 10-year forecast period, and we expect it to account for over 95% of electricity output in Belarus in 2018 at a level of up to 33.5 terawatt hours (TWh).
  • However, with the introduction of nuclear power generation by 2019, we expect that the share of gas power output will gradually reduce to just less than 65% of the total power mix by 2027.
  • 2,400 megawatts (MW) of nuclear capacity is under construction in Belarus, which we forecast will come online in two phases of 1,200MW in 2019 and 2020 respectively. The reactors are being built by Russian firm Atomstroyexport and equipment is supplied by Rosatom's mechanical engineering division, Atomenergomash.
  • By 2027, we forecast that nuclear power generation will account 34.2% of total electricity output in Belarus.
  • The Belarusian government stated at the end of 2017 that it aims to export electricity to neighbouring countries such as Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine once its nuclear capacity comes online. As can be seen in the chart above, we expect that there will be surplus electricity generation for export when the reactors are commissioned. However, both the Polish and Lithuanian governments have spoken out against the Belarusian nuclear plants over safety concerns, with the Polish government even passing a law forbidding the import of electricity from nuclear plants in neighbouring countries.
  • The Belarusian government has also stated that it intends to trade electricity in the Eurasian Economic Union, with fellow member states Russia, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. This will give them other avenues for electricity trade if attempts to export to Poland and Lithuania are unsuccessful.

Nuclear To Help Diversify Power Sector
Belarus - Electricity Generation By Type and Capacity Growth
e/f = BMI estimate/forecast. Source: BMI, EIA

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