Plug-in drill rig saves a tonne of CO2 every day

The plug-in electric Bauer eBG33 drilling rig

We reported in January this year that German foundations specialist Bauer had completed site testing of the prototype eBG 33 and that is was heading for the UK. [See previous report here.]

However, the 100-tonne rig is not being used by Bauer’s own contracting division but by SB3, a joint venture between Bachy Soletanche & Balfour Beatty Ground Engineering, which is undertaking foundation work for Balfour Beatty Vinci Joint Venture (BBV) at the northern end of HS2 phase on in Warwickshire.

Bauer Technologies is itself working in joint venture with Keller on a £95m geotechnical works contract for EKFB – Eiffage, Kier, Ferrovial Construction and BAM Nuttall – on the C23 section between the Chiltern Tunnels and Long Itchington Wood.

SB3 is using the plug-in drilling rig alongside a conventional diesel-powered rig to construct large diameter piles, with the aim of demonstrating that heavy, electric-powered construction plant can perform the same tasks as traditional machines. The team reports that the eBG33 is creating an overall reduction of 1,292kg CO2 per day compared to a traditionally powered rig and also reduces noise by 50%. In terms of performance, there is no difference and no power sacrificed.

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SB3 JV director Chris Merridew 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.”

BBV innovation director Dan Fawcett said: “…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.”

The video below was produced by Bauer last year when the machine was still undergoing final tests in Germany.

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