Balfour Beatty VINCI Joint Venture, HS2 Ltd’s construction partner, has begun trialling the world’s first electric drilling rig on a construction site in Warwickshire
The 100-tonne electric drilling rig, BAUER eBG33, reduces 1292kg of CO2 per day and noise by 50%, whilst performing the exact same tasks as a traditional rig.
The BAUER eBG33 replaces the diesel engine drive with a powerful electric drive, creating a number of environmental benefits including:
- reduced exhaust and noise emissions;
- high energy efficiency due to modern three-phase asynchronous motor;
- and flexibility through an integrated frequency converter.
BAUER are also trialling different E-connection concepts and an innovative concept for set-up operation via an autonomous secondary drive which is independent of the power supply.
It is currently being used by Balfour Beatty VINCI Joint Venture’s (BBV) deep foundations contractor SB3 (a Joint Venture between Bachy Soletanche & Balfour Beatty Ground Engineering), and works alongside a diesel-powered rig to construct large diameter piles.
Andrea Davidson, HS2’s air quality manager said:” We are proud to be working with our supply chain and leading manufacturers to drive a step change in the UK construction industry, demonstrating the viability and benefits of emissions-free heavy electric plant.
Diesel-free construction sites by 2029
“Being at the forefront of a ground-breaking trial like this is another step on our journey to achieving our target of all diesel-free construction sites by 2029, and net zero carbon from 2035 – helping HS2 to become the most sustainable infrastructure project ever delivered.”
Dan Fawcett, innovation director at BBV said: “We’re committed to driving real innovation across everything we do. That’s why we’re so excited to trial the world’s first all-electric, high capacity drilling rig at one of our HS2 sites in Warwickshire.
“This pioneering project marks a major step forward towards transitioning to all-electric powered plants, which is great news for the environment too.
“We’ll look to share what we learn from this trial and extend it across our other sites, as well as the wider industry.”
Tim Laemmle from BAUER Maschinen GmbH, the rig’s developers and manufacturers, said: “We’re thrilled to be leading the industry with this electric rig. It is great to be working with HS2, BBV and SB3, as the first UK specialist contractor to demonstrate the capabilities of the product.
Emission-free equipment for the deep foundation sector
“We’re fully committed to bringing emission-free equipment to the deep foundation sector. There is a strong desire to promote our new electrified equipment as a genuine, reliable alternative to fossil fuel driven machinery.”
Chris Merridew, SB3 JV board director said: “Our team was eager to support Bauer as the first end user of the electric rig and its new technology.
“It has the potential to be a massive game changer for the industry and the wider construction sector in our continued drive to reduce carbon, noise and emissions.”