WORLD’S FIRST ‘EMISSION-FREE’ QUARRY

 

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Prototype LX1 electric hybrid wheel loader

On the 29th August, Volvo Construction Equipment and its customer Skanska began testing the viability of its Electric Site concept at Skanska’s Vikan Kross quarry, near Gothenburg, Sweden. The system, which incorporates electric and autonomous Volvo machines, will run in a real production environment for 10 weeks – delivering an anticipated 95% reduction in carbon emissions and 25% reduction in total cost of operations.

Swedish companies Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) and Skanska are turning the quarrying industry upside down in a groundbreaking study to create the world’s first ‘emission-free’ quarry. Drawing on the electro mobility and automation expertise of the Volvo Group, the research project, dubbed Electric Site, aims to electrify each transport stage in a quarry – from excavation to primary crushing, and transport to secondary crushing – although a negligible amount of diesel power will still be used. The system’s efficiency, safety and environmental benefits are set to impact both customers and society at large.

Volvo CE and Skanska began testing the Electric Site concept on 29th August at Skanska’s Vikan Kross quarry near Gothenburg in Sweden, which produces aggregates for construction purposes as well as for asphalt and cement. Production will run for 10 weeks and has been designed to achieve the same output as Skanska’s usual equipment but, crucially, with up to 95% lower carbon emissions and up to 25% lower total cost of operations.

“This is the first time that anything like this has been attempted in the quarrying industry and, if successful, Electric Site could serve as a blueprint for transforming the efficiency, safety and environmental impact of quarries around the world,” said Gunnar Hagman, CEO of Skanska Sweden.

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Prototype HX2 autonomous, battery-electric load carrier

With Electric Site, Volvo CE and Skanska are challenging traditional ways of working in the quarrying industry. The project has involved developing new concept machines, work methods and site management systems which together, form a complete site solution. New technology encompasses machine and fleet control systems and logistic solutions for electric machines in quarries.

“We have had to completely rethink the way we work and how we look upon machine efficiency – pushing the boundaries of our competence,” said Melker Jernberg, president of Volvo CE. “The total site solution we developed together with our customer Skanska is not a commercial solution for sale today and we will evaluate the outcome of the tests but we have learnt so much already, elements of which will be fed into our future product development,”

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