GEOTHERMAL RESOURCES AND THEIR UTILIZATION IN BELARUS. V.I. Zui. Republican Unitary Enterprise «Belarusian Research Geological Exploration Institute» 7, Kuprevich str., Minsk. 220141 Republic of Belarus E-mail: zui@geology.org.by.

Belarus is situated within the western part of the East European Platform. Geologically, it is a junction of crustal blocks of different age. The thickness of deposits varies from 80-100 m to 1.5-5.5 km within deep sedimentary basins: Pripyat Trough, Orsha and the eastern part of the Podlaska-Brest depressions. A contrast terrestrial temperature field was revealed within sediments ranging from 7-8 °C within fresh water horizons to 80-115 °C in deep complexes of the Pripyat Trough.

Resources of geothermal energy were estimated for both shallow horizons within the western part of the country and deep ones exceeding 1 km in the Pripyat Trough and the Podlaska-Brest Depression. These vary in a wide range from 10-20 to 200300 kilograms of oil equivalent per square meter (kg. o. e./m2) within crustal blocks with thin sedimentary cover. The highest density of resources was observed in deep complexes of the Pripyat Trough up to 1-4 t. o. e./m2. These horizons have a high content of dissolved chemicals up to 350-420 g/l.

Around 15 geothermal installations are in operation in the country supplying space heating for industrial buildings with the total installed heat pump capacity approaching to 4.5 MW . Around 40 small heat pump systems were installed in private cottages and around the main towns and cities with the total heat capacity around 1-1.5 MW . All installations use cold water taken from shallow boreholes with typical temperature 8-10 °C as the primary energy source. One installation is based on utilization of river water. Other 12-15 heat pump installations are under construction.

It is planned to create experimental heat pump installations in several new apartment houses in 3-5 forthcoming years for space heating and warm water supply. Design plans and specifications of a pilot geothermal station for the «Berestye» greenhouse complex in the western part of the country are finished. It was put into experimental operation at the beginning of February 2010.