China's Sichuan province eager to set up joint bus-making venture with Belarus
MINSK – Sichuan Province of China is interested in setting up a joint venture with Belarus to manufacture electric buses. Relevant plans were discussed during a meeting of Liu Jie, Vice Governor of Sichuan Provincial People's Government, with Nikolai Rogashchuk, Acting Deputy Head of Minsk City Hall, on 16 February, BelTA has learned.
The meeting took place at the Belarusian mechanical engineering company Belkommunmash that has already made pilot samples of electric buses. Nikolai Rogashchuk noted that electric buses are rightfully considered a green mean of transportation of the 21st century thanks to the total absence of harmful emissions, low noise pollution, and usage of clean energy.
“Cutting-edge innovative energy storage systems, including those that we design jointly with Chinese partners, contribute to the development of electric bus production. The demand for environmentally friendly means of transportation is growing,” Nikolai Rogashchuk pointed out.
He noted that the market of electric buses in Western Europe is growing fast. With this in mind, Belkommunmash is also working in this direction. The company has already designed electric buses with supercapacitors used as major energy sources, and dual-mode trolleybuses able to run without contact wires. Transport companies of different cities of Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, India and Iran show interest in purchasing such vehicles. Belkommunmash maintains mutually beneficial cooperation with Hsinchu Corporation. With the support from Liu Jie, Vice Governor of Sichuan Provincial People's Government, the two companies studied the experience of introducing electric buses with supercapacitors into Shanghai's transport infrastructure.
Nikolai Rogashchuk pointed out that Belkommunmash and Minsk City Hall signed an agreement to produce electric buses for the public transport system of the Belarusian capital. Plans are also considered to use such vehicles in the China-Belarus industrial park Great Stone, and trial Belarus-made electric buses in Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Tehran. Minsk City Hall representatives thanked the Chinese partners for the participation in the project that will improve the environment, develop the transport infrastructure of Minsk, and create an opportunity to enter new markets. During the meeting, Nikolai Rogashchuk addressed Cui Qiming, Ambassador of China to Belarus, and stressed that the Belarusian side is interested in expanding the cooperation between Minsk-based enterprises and Chinese companies.
Chinese supercapacitors are used today in the production of Belarusian electric buses. Oleg Bytsko, chief designer at Belkommunmash, said that negotiations are underway on the possibility of joint manufacture of electric buses in China. He explained that the Chinese law limits the possibility of supplying ready-made passenger transportation vehicles to China. Still, cooperation in the form of a joint enterprise is viewed as possible. No specific timeframe for the implementation of such a project has been set so far, but negotiations are already in progress.
Participants of the meeting at Belkommunmash cut a symbolic red ribbon to mark a successful start of partner relations. Belarusian and Chinese officials also took a tour of Minsk on an Е433 electric bus.