The World Bank has approved a loan worth $90 million (£54m) for a biomass district heating network in Belarus.
The project will finance replacement of existing gas and oil boilers with biomass, installation of individual building-level heat substations with temperature control and the upgrade of district heating networks.
District heating plays an important role in the energy system of Belarus, with 60% of the population relying on it for heat supply, according to the World Bank.
The Government of Belarus aims to increase the share of local fuels, mainly biomass, in energy supply from 25% to 32% by the end of the decade.
Young Chul Kim, World Bank Country Manager for Belarus said: “Forest is one of Belarus’s richest natural resources. The full potential of wood biomass as alternative renewable energy resource has yet to be realized in Belarus.
“Using low-quality wood, now treated as industrial waste, for heat and power generation will also contribute to the development of the wood processing industry, and is consistent with the national overall strategy to encourage sustainable forest management. It also allows new jobs and business opportunities to be created in these sectors.”