A viability study with the potential to transform the environmental impact of the construction industry has kicked off in Sweden, at what is thought to be the world’s first zero emissions quarry.
Volvo Construction Equipment and Skanska are putting the Electric Site concept through its paces at the Swedish construction and development firm’s Vikan Kross quarry near Gothenburg, which produces aggregates for construction as well as for asphalt and cement.
The concept uses electric and autonomous Volvo machines in place of conventional kit, and will run in a real production environment for 10 weeks.
During that time, it’s expected to deliver a 95% reduction in carbon emissions and 25% reduction in the cost of operations, while still achieving its usual output.
The project has involved developing new concept machines, work methods and site management systems, and includes:
- 8 prototype HX2 autonomous, battery-electric load carriers — instead of three larger rigid haulers — will transport material from the primary mobile crusher to the secondary static crusher. These machines have vision systems on board, which allow them to detect humans and obstacles nearby
- The 70t dual-powered, cable-connected EX1 excavator prototype loads the primary crusher. The base machine is a Volvo EC750 model, upgraded to incorporate an electric motor
- Volvo CE’s prototype LX1 electric hybrid wheel loader organises piles of material on the site and is said to offer up to a 50% improvement in fuel efficiency, as well as significant reductions in emissions and noise pollution
Gunnar Hagman, Skanska Sweden CEO, said: “This is the first time that anything like this has been attempted in the quarrying industry and, if successful, could serve as a blueprint for transforming the efficiency, safety and environmental impact of quarries around the world.”
Melker Jernberg, president of Volvo CE, said the so-called total site solution isn’t commercially available, but added: “We will evaluate the outcome of the tests, but we have learnt so much already, elements of which will be fed into our future product development.”
Take a look at other proptech innovations focused on mitigating the impact of climate change in our recent article here.
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