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Tue April 13 2021

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Select takes delivery of electric crawler crane

6 days Laing O’Rourke’s plant operation, Select, has taken delivery of the UK’s first battery-powered Liebherr LR 1250.1 crawler crane.

Pictured at the handover last month at Liebherr-GB in Biggleswade are, left to right, Select’s Paul Griffin, Alex Warrington and Eddy Carr, with Richard Everist and Mark West of Liebherr, and Steve Bradby of Select on the right
Pictured at the handover last month at Liebherr-GB in Biggleswade are, left to right, Select’s Paul Griffin, Alex Warrington and Eddy Carr, with Richard Everist and Mark West of Liebherr, and Steve Bradby of Select on the right

Select says that the arrival of the pioneering crane marks the beginning of a planned fleet of battery-powered machines for the company.

Laing O’Rourke said it is not yet allowed to reveal the first site where its new crane will be working. HS2 Ltd has a tight reign on its suppliers that prevents them saying anything publicly about the project – it seeks to controls the release of all statements relating to any innovations or developments on its sites. Therefore, we should expect a statement from HS2 soon claiming credit for this innovation.

While battery-powered crawler cranes are not new – Japanese manufacturers Maeda and Unic, among others, have made them for years – there has been nothing of this size before. Other electric crawlers cranes typically lift a maximum of about three tonnes, and are designed for indoor fit-out or glazing applications. The LR 1250.1 Unplugged is a full 250-tonne rated crawler for heavy-duty construction site applications.

The first Liebherr LR 1250.1 Unplugged was delivered in December 2020 to Kynningsrud Nordic Crane in Norway. Select’s machine is unit number two.

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In so-called ‘socket operation’, the crane’s performance is identical to the diesel-powered version and in unplugged mode can operate for a full shift under normal operating conditions, Liebherr promises. Alternatively, the batteries supply sufficient energy for the erection of the main boom with luffing jib and travel over a distance of approximately 650 metres. The crane can operate fully when connected to a conventional electric supply or be recharged in 4.5 hours.

Select also runs electric concrete pumps, access platform, tower cranes and hoists. "With one of the largest fleets of crawler cranes in the UK, we have always sought to lead the industry by sourcing cranes with the latest technology engines,” said Alex Warrington, business unit leader. “We identified crawler cranes as an area of potential for electric machines and are proud to partner with Liebherr whose exciting product development has made this a reality.”

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