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02 September 2022, 19:56

Belarusian MTZ about to make gas-powered tractors

An archive photo
An archive photo

MINSK, 2 September (BelTA) – The Belarusian tractor manufacturer MTZ intends to start making tractors fitted with engines that burn natural gas, BelTA learned from MTZ Director General Vitaly Vovk.

MTZ has teamed up with OOO RariTEK based in Naberezhnyye Chelny, Tatarstan, Russian Federation to design a gas engine for various vehicles and machines. “I think we will begin making small batches of tractors with such engines soon,” the executive said. Work is now in progress at premises of OOO TPK MTZ-Tatarstan to make a prototype model MTZ 2022. Gas-powered vehicles are in active development in Belarus now. In particular, the Belarusian agricultural machinery manufacturer Gomselmash has made harvesters powered by pure natural gas.

According to Vitaly Vovk, natural gas is twice as cheap as diesel fuel now. The initial cost of a gas-powered tractor will be slightly higher. However, you have to think about the totally different cost of ownership, he said. “It is profitable and we should work towards it,” Vitaly Vovk remarked.

Meanwhile, MTZ is working on the unmanned tractor MTZ A3523i with electromechanical stepless transmission. The tractor can be controlled by a remote operator. “We demonstrated the tractor at the Agrovolga expo in Kazan. We will also soon demonstrate it at the agricultural machinery expo Agrosalon in Moscow,” the MTZ CEO said. “There is no doubt the project has a future. However, unmanned vehicles need proper conditions. In particular, infrastructure, digital maps of fields, reliable 5G communication, and well-trained personnel.”

Minsk Tractor Works (MTZ trademark) was established on 29 May 1946. It was reincorporated into a holding company in August 2014. MTZ is one of the largest manufacturers of agricultural machines not only in the CIS states but the entire world. MTZ employs over 16,000 people. Customers are offered over 100 tractor models in more than 200 modifications for all climatic and operational conditions. New models boast great capabilities with regard to the aggregation of agricultural machines of various manufacturers. The public joint-stock company (OAO) MTZ designs, makes, and exports wheel tractors and spare parts, licenses their production abroad, organizes and offers aftersales service for sold vehicles, and offers personnel training with regard to operation and maintenance of the vehicles the company makes.

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