Belarus first vice premier Vladimir Semashko has announced that his country intends to build nine new hydropower plants by 2020.

His expectation is that the first of these, a 17MW hydropower plant in Grodno, will be commissioned later this year. Preparations are underway to build a hydropower plant in Polotsk (it will be commissioned in 2014) and Vitebsk (2015). “The projects are already in the pipeline. Documents are being worked on,” said vice premier Semashko.

According to the vice premier, the construction and commissioning of these hydropower plants is seen as a way to handle Belarus’ energy security problems.