Rail Drilling

HS2 unveil ‘first of a kind’ electric drilling rig

HS2’s ltd and their construction partner Balfour Beatty VINCI Joint Venture (BBV), are currently in the midst of trialling a pioneering new construction rig, seeing the world’s first all-electric, high-capacity drilling in Warwickshire. This comes as the Joint Venture plans to ramp up its plans to meet HS2 Ltd.’s ambition for diesel-free construction sites.

Andrea Davidson, HS2’s Air Quality Manager said:

“We are proud to be working with our supply chain and leading manufacturers to drive a step change in the UK construction industry, demonstrating the viability and benefits of emissions-free heavy electric plant.

“Being at the forefront of a ground-breaking trial like this is another step on our journey to achieving our target of all diesel-free construction sites by 2029, and net zero carbon from 2035 - helping HS2 to become the most sustainable infrastructure project ever delivered.”

The one hundred tonne BAUER eBG33 drilling rig will lead to a reduction of 1292kg CO2 per day when compared to the traditional style of rig for construction, whilst also aiding in overall noise reduction by 50%. The new rig is able to achieve these results whilst also maintaining consistency in the same tasks as a traditional rig.

The innovative new rig is being used by BBV’s deep foundations contractor SB3 (a Joint Venture between Bachy Soletanche & Balfour Beatty Ground Engineering), whilst working alongside a diesel-powered rig to construct large diameter piles. The combined work between both machines is being utilised to show that electric powered construction alternatives are able to perform tasks with the same efficiency as traditional equipment.

Dan Fawcett, Innovation Director at BBV said: 

“We’re committed to driving real innovation across everything we do. That’s why 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 environmental impacts of the BAUER eBG33’s implementation are notable as they include reduced exhaust and noise emissions; high energy efficiency due to modern three-phase asynchronous motor; and flexibility through an integrated frequency converter. Switching construction methods to incorporate electric run machinery is an integral step to decarbonisation within the rail industry and should be emulated wherever possible.

BAUER are also trialling different E-connection concepts and an innovative concept for set-up operation via an autonomous secondary drive which is independent of the power supply.

Want to know more about the opportunities to become a key supplier to the UK rail industry? Attend TransCityRail and access an exclusive marketplace of buyers from Network Rail, HS2, Train Operators, Major Contractors, and all other tiers of the supply chain. For more information and to secure your place click here




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