Electrification of heavy-duty earthmoving equipment brings challenges. Will an electric drive train provide the superior power needed to operate heavy-duty equipment? Where do you charge this equipment when it is deployed on an off-grid project site? Facing these challenges calls for front running companies to work together. To gather knowledge, gain experience and enable digitalisation and innovation, Van Oord, Caterpillar and Pon signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The collaboration is focused on learning and improving techniques to operate electric or alternative lower exhaust emissions machines, mobile charging equipment and manage energy on a construction site with an objective to reduce emissions. This collaboration can help support the largest off-grid, zero-exhaust emissions project in the world with heavy duty earthmoving equipment.
Van Oord, as part of the Mekante Diek consortium, is currently working on the Tiel-Waardenburg dyke reinforcement project. To enable emission-free project execution, Mekante Diek will deploy approximately 40 heavy-duty electric machines. To charge these machines an innovative fast-charging plaza, called WattHub, has been constructed. It is the world’s first semi-public charging plaza designed specifically for lorries and heavy equipment. Lessons learned from working with heavy-duty earthmoving equipment are valuable for future innovation. By working together and sharing knowledge, the transition to a sustainable future can be accelerated.
In 2020, Pon-Cat delivered the first 20-tonne fully electric excavator in the Netherlands to Van Oord, followed by a second one the following year. The success of these machines has led Van Oord to invest in four more electric excavators. The new 35.5-tonne Pon-Cat 330 LRE Z-line excavators are an entirely new model with a net battery capacity of 422 kWh not yet available anywhere else. They will be delivered this year and deployed on the Tiel-Waardenburg project.