In this section you will find information about Belarus. Professional journalists from the independent non-state publication officelife.media (location - Minsk) tell about what is really happening in Belarus. No political accents or ideological attitudes. Only the most important facts so that you understand the essence of what is happening in this corner of Europe.
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Lukashenko Sets the First Half of 2022 As a New Date for the BelNPP Commissioning; Google Names the Belarusian App the Best in 2020. Belarus, December 1, 2020

The dates of putting BelNPP into operation were repeatedly postponed and, finally, the authorities decided that the first unit will be commissioned in 2021, and the entire station – in 2022. Belneftekhim intends to invest $8.8 billion in the development of the petrochemical complex by 2030. “Golden passports” of Cyprus were issued to Wargaming employees with violations. Google named the Belarusian startup Loóna the App of the Year in the American Play Store.

The authorities want to put BelNPP into operation in the first half of 2022

Alexander Lukashenko signed a decree that formalizes the commissioning of the first unit of the BelNPP in 2021 and the commissioning of the whole station in the first half of 2022. Previously, these dates were repeatedly postponed.

“The date of commissioning of the first unit of the NPP is the date of signing by the members of the acceptance committee of the act of acceptance into operation of the start-up complex of the first unit of the NPP, completed by construction,” the decree says.

This means that the symbolic launch recently attended by Lukashenko is not yet the final commissioning, as previously announced. Lukashenko visited the station on November 7 and gave permission to increase the power unit’s electrical capacity to 400 MW.

The Ostrovets NPP with two VVER-1200 reactors with a total capacity of 2,400 MW was built according to the Russian NPP-2006 project, which envisages the commissioning of high-safety third-generation pressurized water reactors.

The next day after Lukashenko’s visit to the nuclear power plant, an incident occurred that didn’t threaten the reactor in any way. But the transformers of the “external” system had to be changed and the station was disconnected from the network. Bringing the plant back to normal may take quite a long time. In fact, it still can’t give out energy.

Belneftekhim plans to invest $8.8 billion in development over 10 years

Belneftekhim intends to invest $8.8 billion in the development of the petrochemical complex by 2030: $4.9 billion of its own funds and $3.9 billion of borrowed and attracted resources. This was announced by the deputy chairman of the concern Vladimir Sizov.

According to the specialist, the main risks for Belneftekhim (raw materials) are planned to be minimized by modernizing refineries, deepening oil refining, increasing the yield of light oil products, creating strategic oil reserves and modernizing the oil transportation system.

The Concern intends to minimize financial risks by switching to formula pricing for the supply of raw materials and the sale of finished products, hedging foreign trade transactions, and developing the most comfortable financing conditions.

The development strategy provides for a transition to deeper oil refining. Naftan plans to change its profile from fuel to petrochemical. In 2026, Naftan’s management wants to commission a new installation for the production of ethylene and propylene and start the production of high-tech plastics (ABS and polycarbonate).

Also, the completion of the Gomel-Gorki oil pipeline by Gomeltransneft Druzhba in 2022 is planned. It should unite the country’s pipeline system and improve the reliability of oil supplies to Belarusian refineries.

“Golden passports” of Cyprus were issued to Wargaming employees with violations

The audit launched against the employees of the IT company with Belarusian roots Wargaming, showed that the Cypriot authorities issued them “golden passports” with violations and abuse of power.

Previously, OL reported that an investigation had begun in Cyprus against employees of Wargaming, which in 2012 moved its headquarters from Minsk to Nicosia. The co-founders of the company Viktor Kisly and Ivan Mikhnevich, and then other employees of the company, received Cypriot passports.

An interim report has now been released. It says that the acquisition of Cypriot citizenship by 64 employees of the company did not meet the investment program criteria.

Only 27 of the 64 people worked for the company. 37 people appear to have acquired citizenship as being associated with the company, although some seem not being associated with it at all. In addition, a number of company employees provided false information about real estate and places of residence. At the indicated addresses, there were parking lots, unfinished buildings, etc. Some of the data provided for the naturalization of a real estate transaction was probably fictitious and was drawn up between affiliated companies.

The report states that none of the company’s 64 naturalized employees met the economic criteria for naturalization.

There is reason to believe that there was an abuse of power. Naturalization took place when Socrates Hasikos was Minister of the Interior. For example, there is evidence that the glazing of the Wargaming building in Nicosia was handled by a company owned by Hasikos.

Wargaming was founded in Minsk in 1998 and has grown into the largest computer game developer. The company employs 400 people in Cyprus. Wargaming is one of the largest tax residents in the country, owning 20.6% of Hellenic Bank shares.

Google recognizes Belarusian app as the App of the Year on the American market

Google began to take stock of the outgoing year. The company has named the best apps of 2020 featured in the Google Play app store. Belarusian startup Loóna was named App of the Year in the American Play Store.

“Loóna has fascinated us like no other app this year,” Google said. They noted that the Belarusian application is beautifully designed and thoughtfully executed, calling it a rare case when benefit meets ingenuity and pleasure.

The Loóna app is the fruit of the work of Sergey Gonchar, Yevgeny Nevgen, Dmitry Dorin and Andrey Yanchurevich (Gonchar and Nevgen became famous after the creation of the MSQRD application, which was later sold to Facebook). The program aims to improve users’ sleep through proper emotional preparation. Every evening the app offers some recommended episode (a kind of “dream landscape”), which should create the ideal mood for sleep.

Earlier, the Russian GQ recognized the creators of Loóna as businessmen of the year.

In this section you will find information about Belarus. Professional journalists from the independent non-state publication officelife.media (location - Minsk) tell about what is really happening in Belarus. No political accents or ideological attitudes. Only the most important facts so that you understand the essence of what is happening in this corner of Europe.