By Andrey Gusinsky
Chisinau is expected to start assembling Belarusian trolley buses next spring, using Belkommunmash machine sets — as stipulated by an agreement signed by the General Director of Belkommunmash, Vladimir Korol, and the Mayor of Chisinau, Dorin Chirtoaca. They met at the 13th session of the intergovernmental Moldovan-Belarusian commission on trade and economic co-operation.
At a press conference following the session, Mr. Chirtoaca said that investments into the joint assembly of Belkommunmash trolley buses in Chisinau are estimated to reach 4-5m Euros. The money will be provided by Chisinau’s Mayoral Office and the Chisinau City Electric Transport Department.
Mr. Chirtoaca also noted that vehicles are to be assembled at an upgraded trolley bus repair facility, which will be later re-organised as a factory. The first new Belkommunmash trolley bus will be launched in June 2012 and, by the end of next year, about 30 vehicles will have been assembled.
Moldova plans to manufacture up to 50 trolley buses a year, as it needs 150-200 to renew its transport fleet. Chisinau-assembled vehicles will also be sold to Moldova’s two largest cities using electric transport: Tiraspol and Balti. Moldova, given its trade preferences with the EU, will also be promoting modern vehicles to European markets.
As Mr. Korol noted, trolley buses will be initially assembled with Belarusian machine sets and components, with production perhaps shifting to local parts in future.