At the end of last year Fulton Hogan flicked the switch on a ground-breaking fully electric mobile asphalt crusher, believed to be the first in Australasia.
The Belgian-designed Keestrack R3e, supplied by Equip2, is being used in the company’s asphalt recycling plant in Mt Wellington, Auckland.
The asphalt recycling plant is itself a major initiative, with recycled asphalt now constituting up to 40 percent of the mix in Fulton Hogan’s asphalt.
The electric mobile asphalt crusher was commissioned shortly after Fulton Hogan bought 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 calculations by manufacturer Keestrack indicate the electric crusher will save 78.75 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year compared with its low fuel burn Keestrack R3h diesel machine, based on it running 1000 hours per year. If you are ticking the ’emissions box’ the CO2 emission savings would be over 100 tonnes per year compared with less efficient diesel-powered crushers.
“We recognise the future is electric and we are transitioning our product range in line with rapidly growing customer demand,” says Bert. “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 contractor aims to recycle all milled (or broken up) asphalt, and blending it with virgin asphalt at mixes of between 10 percent and 40 percent, which is 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, so 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 mobile crusher from a world leader in sustainable crushing equipment is the icing on the cake.”
As well as removing the dependence on diesel power, the benefits of the electric-powered machine include reduced noise, greater dependability and greater torque, says Wayne.
“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.”