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Sat July 02 2022

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Electric crawler cranes plug in to London sites

10 Feb Three electric-powered crawler cranes have begun work this month on two HS2 sites in London.

Liebherr LR1160E electric crane plugged in on HS2's Canterbury Road vent shaft in Kilburn
Liebherr LR1160E electric crane plugged in on HS2's Canterbury Road vent shaft in Kilburn

The deployment of three plug-in Liebherr crawler cranes on sites in Old Oak Common and Kilburn follows a trial at HS2’s Curzon Street Station site in Birmingham last year.

Expanded, Laing O’Rourke’s ground engineering subsidiary working for Balfour Beatty Vinci Systra joint venture (BBVS), has set up a 250-tonne rated Liebherr LR1250E and a 160-tonne LR1160E to support construction of the 850-metre-long Old Oak Common Station box that will house six high-speed rail platforms.

The third crane, another LR1160E, has arrived at HS2’s Canterbury Road vent shaft site in Kilburn, managed by Skanska Costain Strabag joint venture (SCS JV).

All three cranes are owned by Select Plant, another Laing O’Rourke subsidiary.

According to Liebherr, these cranes work off their batteries or plug in to an electricity supply. Whether unplugged or plugged in, the working performance is identical, Liebherr says. The range in unplugged operation enables crane lifting operations for approximately four hours. Alternatively, the batteries supply enough energy for the erection of the main boom with luffing jib and travelling over a distance of about 650 metres. In 'socket operation', the performance of the crane is identical to that of the standard diesel-powered version.

LR1250e at Old Oak Common
LR1250e at Old Oak Common

HS2 Ltd recently announced that the project aims to be net zero carbon from 2035, with the target of achieving diesel-free construction sites by 2029. To achieve this, HS2 is collaborating with suppliers accelerate the introduction of electric and other non-diesel machinery.

BBVS environmental manager Mohamed El Shazly said: “As we work to deliver HS2’s Old Oak Common Station, we are continually seeking new ways to minimise our environmental impact and drive down our carbon emissions. With only five of these fully electric cranes in the world, we are pleased that two are now operational on our site; testament to the commitment we have made alongside HS2 and our partners to support the UK’s transition to net zero.”

SCS air quality lead Robert Lockwood said: “At SCS we want to make the transition to electric plant wherever possible in order to reduce emissions and noise, which is crucial for both the environment and the communities around our sites. To keep the momentum going, we’re already looking to procure our second electric crawler crane for delivery in March 2022.”

The LR1160E working for SCS in Kilburn
The LR1160E working for SCS in Kilburn

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