MINSK - The World Bank (WB) will grant Belarus an additional loan of $160 million to implement energy conservation projects, Deputy Chairman of the State Committee for Standardization of the Republic of Belarus and Director of Department for Energy Efficiency Mikhail Malashenko said.

"Work is underway to raise additional financing to the tune of $160 million. There is an agreement in principle of the World Bank. The loan will be used to build facilities running on local fuel and to implement pilot projects to improve energy saving in apartment houses," Mikhail Malashenko said.

He emphasized that construction of facilities running on bio fuel is an energy-saving project that will pay back soon and will help reduce the prime cost of heat energy considerably. "Apart from that, by using local fuel more broadly, we give jobs to our fuel suppliers, forestry enterprises, peat industry, etc.," Mikhail Malashenko said.

At present, Belarus is implementing a project to use wood biomass for centralized heat supply with the help of the World Bank loan of $90 million. The initial plan provided for the repair (construction) of 13 boiler houses running on firewood.

Head for sci-tech policy and foreign economic contacts at the Department for Energy Efficiency Andrei Minenkov noted that efficient procurement allowed adding another seven facilities into this list. "The World Bank praised the work and offered another loan,"he said.