Braslav, a district centre in Vitebsk Region, has received a 600,000 Euro grant to launch energy saving technologies in line with the Covenant of Mayors international project. This aims to promote sustainable energy development and the economic use of fuel resources, with 5,000 cities worldwide participating. Each city is voluntarily undertaking ‘20-20-20’ commitments: to cut carbon emissions by 20 percent, to reduce energy consumption by 20 percent and to increase the share of renewable energy by 2020.
In practice, each city signatory develops a sustainable energy action plan, which includes a number of measures to reduce consumption of resources, while maintaining comfortable living standards for local residents. Braslav aims to become Belarus’ first climatically neutral municipality, promoting energy-saving technologies and renewable energy at a local level. It was launched in 2012, with the support of the Centre for Environmental Solutions (a non-profit NGO) and with European financial assistance. The project includes various activities - from seminars and study tours to neighbouring countries, through to sharing experience in renewable energy. Braslav Keen to Lead the Way further explores this topic.
Zhodino, also located in the region, is known worldwide for BelAZ enterprise, which produces heavy-duty trucks. Recently, the Belarusian Automobile Works launched the most powerful mine dump truck in the world, confirming again its leading global position. In 2014, the vehicle established a record load capacity of 504 tonnes, as recorded in The Guinness Book of Records. Developers advise only loading to 450 tonnes during constant operation but this still surpasses the capacity of any other such vehicle worldwide.
Of course, designers and customers need to see how the giant performs in ‘the field’ and it is always a concern as to whether a new model will recoup production expenditure. Accordingly, last year, a prototype was delivered by train to Russian Kuzbass, with results used to tailor the vehicle for the best performance. Since November, the BelAZ-75710 has been carrying rock at Chernigovsky’s open-cast coal mine. The vehicle is considered to be experimental but is being set to work at full capacity, day and night. Having undergone regular technical servicing, it continues to be operational, and available for inspection.
Various foreign specialists and experts have assessed the truck for reliability, compactness, load-capacity and safety and will soon be able to see the ‘improved’ model, based on the trial results of the BelAZ-75710 being used in real conditions. The latest vehicle is soon to undergo tests before a panel of customers, dealers and scientific institutions, in Zhodino. BelAZ has already made the frame for the third vehicle of such a kind, although there is no buyer as yet. Many countries are displaying interest, showing that the demand for giant trucks is real enough.
Read on to discover more fascinating news.
By Viktor Kharkov