The China National Electric Engineering Company (CNEEC) on June 28 announced it would construct the run-of-river 40-MW Vitebsk hydroelectric facility on the Western Dvina River in Vitebsk, Belarus. The estimated cost of the facility is US$230 million, it will be the country’s largest hydro facility and is one of four projects in Belarus’ 2020 Energy Security Plan.
The other proposed projects mentioned for a cascade of facilities on the Western Dvina River included in the security plan are: the 22-MW Polotsk; 33-MW Beshenkovichi; and 13-MW Verkhnedvinsk.
Yao Han Wu, executive director at CNEEC, made the announcement during a roundtable on Belarus' advantages and prospects in the construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt, according to the state-run Belarusian Telegraph Agency.
The Silk Road Economic Belt is the land-based component that together with the oceanic Maritime Silk Road forms: “One Belt, One Road,” a Chinese government economic development framework for integrating trade and investment in Eurasia.
The $50 billion One Belt, One Road fund was established by Chinese President Xi Jinping to finance projects intended to connect China to Europe over land through Central Asia and Russia, and by ports through a separate maritime route.
The Vitebsk hydroelectric facility is expected to begin generating power in 2017.