Belarusian Autoworks (BelAZ) General Director Petr Parkhomchyk recently announced an aggressive, comprehensive plan to increase the BelAZ presence around the world, dramatically expand the product line and add production capacity to ensure that BelAZ customers can receive products when they need them. During a MINexpo 2012 press conference, Parkhomchyk told industry media representatives, “Over the next 3 to 5 years, BelAZ will be recognized as the manufacturer of the most complete line of earthmoving equipment and mining trucks in the world. Our line is already strong, but the actions we are announcing today will fill product line gaps and provide customers with the ability to choose product capacity and powertrain components to precisely tailor BelAZ equipment to their operational and budgetary requirements.”
Included in the announcements were:
- A program to appoint new sales and service organizations to serve markets in the Americas, Africa and Asia. The initiative was started with the appointment of Belaz Trucks Americas, headquartered in West Bloomfield, MI, as the distributor of BelAZ products in North America and portions of Latin America, and APEG located in Sutherland, as the distributor of BelAZ products in Australia.
- A commitment to offer a full choice of engine and electric drive system options in the company’s mining trucks. Engines from both MTU and Cummins will be available. Electric drive system options include AC/AC offerings from Siemens, GE and Russian manufacturers, well as well as traditional AC/DC systems for maximum value configurations. Belaz designed and manufactured wheel motor gears are standard on all configurations.
- A BelAZ designed and manufactured proprietary hydro-mechanical transmission for 60 metric tons (mt) and 90 mt trucks. This transmission is the latest in a series of initiatives to integrate, design, manufacture and quality control components within the BelAZ organization.
- Commencement of an engineering design program to offer a configuration for trolley operation on 220 mt and 240 mt truck models. Production availability of the trolley option is targeted for 2015.
- The commencement of testing of a system for control of trucks from a centralized command center. The first system is operational and undergoing test and refinement at the BelAZ Research and Development Center at BelAZ headquarters. Commercial availability is expected in 2013.
- Development of a full line of articulated construction/quarry trucks. The trucks are designed to compete around the world with articulated trucks. The 6 x 6 product configuration will be available in capacities of 27 mt, 36 mt and 50 to 52 mt. All models will be powered by engines supplied by world leading manufacturers. All trucks will be equipped with transmissions designed by BelAZ and Allison. Production is planned to start in 2013.
- Development of a full line of underground trucks and LHD’s. Trucks will be offered at ratings of 22, 40, 50 and 60 mt. LHDs will be rated at 9 and 16 tons. Production of the models will start in 2013 with the full line available by the end of 2015.
- 90 mt electric drive truck program. BelAZ will become the only manufacturer in the world to produce an electric drive truck with 90 mt hauling capacity. The new model will offer quarry operators the flexibility to choose hydro-mechanical or electric drive depending on the haul profiles in their operation. Both versions of the 90 mt models will be available with MTU or Cummins engines at 1,050 hp. The electric drive will use a Russian system developed in conjunction with BelAZ. The mechanical version will utilize the BelAZ hydro-mechanical transmission announced today.
- Gaps in the mining truck portfolio will be filled with the release in 2014 of truck rated at 170 to 190 (2,000 hp) and 260 to 290 (2,700 hp) mt. Both series will be available with MTU or Cummins engines and the complete array of electric drive systems.
- 450 metric ton truck development program. BelAZ officially confirmed the existence of its program to design and bring to market the largest series production mine truck in the world. The 450 mt capacity will continue the trend for ever increasing hauling capacity and the resulting reduction in hauling cost per ton. The truck will have 4,600 hp and matched to Siemens drive systems.
- Investment of $644 million to dramatically increase production capacity. The investment adds to capacity increases begun in 2011. Included is an addition of a 20,000 square meter facility during 2013 to produce the ultra-plus line of 320 mt to 450 mt trucks. Additional capacity will be generated by moving some 90 mt truck production to a JV with Russia’s SBU organization.
Parkhomchyk closed the conference with the following statement: “The programs announced here today clearly demonstrate the commitment of BelAZ to be a world-leading supplier to the earth moving and mining industries. We will have the industry’s most complete product line, the capacity to meet our customers’ delivery requirements and a team dedicated to quality, innovation and customer satisfaction."