Fulton Hogan and Equip2 hosted a working demonstration of what is believed to be Australasia’s first fully electric mobile asphalt crusher at the end of last year.
The Keestrack R3e has just arrived in the country and uses only electricity as it processes old asphalt from a past generation of roads into material for roads of the future. The Minister of Transport, Hon Michael Wood, was at the demonstration.
In electrifying vehicles and equipment to reduce carbon emissions, the bigger they are the more challenging it becomes but, as well as helping to produce roads made from up to 30 percent recycled asphalt, the Keestrack is estimated to save 78.75 tonnes of CO2 from being emitted into the atmosphere annually, based on 1000 hours use per year.
The Belgian-designed Keestrack R3e, supplied by Equip2, is now being used in Fulton Hogan’s Mt Wellington, Auckland, asphalt recycling plant, which is a major environmental initiative itself, with recycled asphalt now constituting up to 40 percent of the mix in Fulton Hogan’s asphalt.
The new electric mobile asphalt crusher was commissioned shortly after Fulton Hogan introduced another large scale piece of electrically powered (augmented) equipment, the world’s first Volvo EC480EL 50 tonne hybrid excavator.
Equip2 General Manager Bert Hart says; “We recognise the future is electric and we are transitioning our product range in line with rapidly growing customer demand. The machine we have supplied to Fulton Hogan crushes old asphalt into little pieces so it can be reused for future roading projects.”
Fulton Hogan department manager Wayne Richardson says the company aims to recycle all milled (or broken up) asphalt, blending it with virgin asphalt at mixes of between 10 percent and 40 percent; an example of the circular economy in practice.
He says Fulton Hogan had converted its Mt Wellington asphalt recycling plant’s crusher from diesel to electric earlier this year, and purchasing the fully electric Keestrack R3e mobile crusher was the next logical step.
“We learned a lot from converting the current mobile plant to electric. Now to have a brand new crusher from a world leader in sustainable crushing equipment is the icing on the cake.”
Richardson adds benefits of the electric-powered machine include reduced noise, greater dependability and greater torque.
“There’s almost no drawback, and even the initial price premium over an equivalent diesel-powered machine will quickly be addressed by lower energy costs, let alone all the environmental benefits.”
Bert Hart says aggregates are often a forgotten commodity.
“People take for granted just how critical raw materials like aggregates are to modern life. New Zealand has one of the highest per capita usage of aggregate in the world. It forms the roads we drive on, the houses we live in, the buildings we work in and even the minerals we use in our food, healthcare and technology.”