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25 April 2014

Novogrudok to join Belarus Green Cities project

GRODNO, 25 April (BelTA) – Novogrudok will be one of the three Belarusian towns that will take part in the project Belarus Green Cities: Supporting Green Urban Development in Small and Medium Sized Cities in Belarus. The project is run by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), Deputy Chairman of the Novogrudok District Executive Committee Sergei Falyuk told BelTA.

One of the cooperation areas will be implementation of the pilot sub-project on energy efficient street lighting. The town will get a $600,000 grant to implement the project. A feasibility study of using new energy efficient lighting technologies will be conducted and the existing street lighting infrastructure will be replaced. After the project is completed, greenhouse gas emissions are projected to reduce by 1,000 tonnes. The project is going through the approval stage now. A working meeting to discuss the project took place in Novogrudok in April. The town was visited by GEF experts, the project coordinator and manager. The next meeting is scheduled for May.

Chief specialist of the economy department of the Novogrudok District Executive Committee Natalia Matsko noted that in February 2013 Novogrudok joined the international initiative Covenant of Mayors East and signed the Covenant of Mayors. This covenant has a total of 5,400 signatories, including 7 Belarusian cities. In order to fulfill energy-efficient and sustainable development targets stipulated by the covenant, Novogrudok shall reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020, increase the share of renewable energy sources, cut down on energy consumption and come up with a plan to promote energy efficiency. One of the first steps to fulfill these obligations will be participation in the Green Cities project. Apart from Novogrudok, another two Belarusian cities are taking part in the project. They are Novopolotsk and Polotsk. The project aims at minimization of inputs of energy, water, and food and waste, output of heat, and air pollution.

According to the economy department, Novogrudok consumes over 56.6 million kWh of energy per annum. It generates 25.6 million kWh of energy using its own energy-generating facilities (cogeneration plants). The first Belarusian wind turbine with the capacity of 1.5MW was constructed near the village of Grabniki in Novogrudok District. Since it was commissioned in May 2011, it has produced 12.3 million kWh of energy. Another six wind-driven power generators with a capacity of 1.5-2MW will be constructed to the south of the site. The wind farm will help replace over 6.5 million cubic meters of gas and generate 22.14 million kWh per annum. Thus, Novogrudok will use only eco-friendly wind power in the future.