Established in 1927, Belarusian enterprise Amkodor is one of the Europe’s largest manufacturers of road construction vehicles, utility machinery, snow-removing, timber industry, agricultural machines and other special vehicles. Amkodor vehicles are used in more than 30 countries across the globe. The company produces around 5,000 special-purpose machinery units per year. About half of the total production is exported to Russia. The government of Belarus approved the allocation of Amkodor Mash $ 192 million loan from Exim bank of China for the construction of a plant in the city of Kolodischi in July 2017. The total cost of the project is $ 230 million. About 15% are own resources of "Amkodor", the rest should be covered by the credit.
The new Amkodor-Mash plant should be built in the area of the territory of the Kolodischi industrial center along Promyshlennaya Street, where a number of manufacturing enterprises are located. The size of the construction area is 18.0238 hectares. The parking places for 160 cars should be situated near the plant. The project envisages the construction of 4 production buildings and the modernization of two existing buildings, a metal shop with production sites, warehouses, a test site, construction and modernization of administrative buildings. It is planned to create a full cycle of manufacturing forklifts. The factory will produce special machines in the amount of 6,000 units per year - 500 per month or almost 24 per day. The factory will provide around 1,500 jobs and work in 2 shifts. The cargo turnover will be more than 100 thousand tons per year.
No analysis of environmental impact
The residents of Kolodischi have long suffered from traffic: there is a number of industrial plants and warehouses around the city. In 2015, the director of the holding announced signing of an agreement with China, which includes investments in the construction of the Amkodor-Mash branch. Public discussion took place on May 5 2016, its result was predictable: the residents don't want any machine building near their homes as the size of the sanitary protection zone of the planned construction is only 100 meters. Local activists quickly prepared a collective appeal with a number of claims to the project. They started demanding thorough ecological, sanitary and hygienic examination and an environmental impact assessment of the plant project as well as an independent public examination.
More than one thousand residents against the construction
During the presentation of the project, people had not been shown an environmental impact analysis at all. Therefore the activists appealed to the First Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of Belarus and asked questions regarding the project documentation. The also created a petition which has been signed by more that one thousands of local people. For several months, the Kolodischans tried to obtain the documents of environmental expertise from Amkodor in order to create their own, independent expertise. Even the prosecutor's office was asked to influence. But they were never given a copy of the documents. Under the signature of Deputy Director-General Sergei Radoman came paper inviting people to read the documents in the Amkodor office but claiming that there is no money for ordering additional copies of the project documentation.
On the future territory of the plant more than three hectares of forest are planned to be cut down. The project materials indicate the cutting of deciduous and coniferous trees in the number of 8429 pieces. The main pollutants of the atmosphere will come from the production: from banal soot to formaldehyde, dioxins, lead or mercury. The estimated amount of pollutants emitted into the atmosphere is 127.57 tons per year.