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Tue April 20 2021

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Liebherr says no to fracking market

20 Apr 15 One of the world’s leading manufacturers of deep drilling machinery has adopted a policy of not producing equipment for the fracking industry.

Liebherr LRB 355 drilling rig
Liebherr LRB 355 drilling rig

Liebherr produces some of the most technically advanced machinery for drilling, boring and hammering deep foundations for the construction industry, including the new LRB 355 rig unveiled to customers at the weekend.

However, the family-owned company has ruled out producing equipment for the fracking market, saying that the process runs counter to its “core values”. Its stance is not based on an unwillingness to enter a new market but on ethical and environmental grounds.

Liebherr says it will not use its engineering and manufacturing expertise to supply fracking equipment.

“We will not do it. It is against our core values,” a spokesman told The Construction Index.

Liebherr has produced cranes specifically for the construction of nuclear power stations, coal-fired power stations and, of course wind energy turbines. However, the company has taken a firm stand over the extraction of natural gas process by hydraulic fracturing.

Fracking requires drilling to depths significantly deeper than anything a conventional foundation drilling machine can achieve, so there is nothing in the current Liebherr product line-up of much use to frackers. The company has fielded enquiries from the sector and rebuffed them.

Proponents of fracking insist that it is a safe and cost-efficient method of extracting plentiful natural gas from deep underground. However, it remains controversial, with opponents citing threats of water contamination and seismic disturbances.

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