As the world moves towards a zero-carbon future to help offset the impacts of global warming, companies in industries that have traditionally generated significant emissions as part of their day-to-day operations are looking for sustainable alternatives.
The infrastructure and resources sectors – with their dependence on large-scale energy intensive excavation, haulage and construction equipment – are now focusing their efforts on ways to reduce their CO2 emissions.
One solution on the road to a zero-carbon future is the use of hybrid earthmoving and excavation technology, with its ability to slash fuel consumption – and hence CO2 emissions by up to 20%.
One company that has committed to a moving quickly to more sustainable low emissions technology is Ventia, a leading essential infrastructure services provider across New Zealand and Australia.
Recently it has commissioned the first Komatsu Hybrid HB365LC-3 excavator in New Zealand at its transport sector quarry at Puketona, in the Bay of Islands.
Ventia has over 5,500 employees and subcontracting partners in New Zealand. With a history spanning more than 25 years across the region, Ventia is proud to support its New Zealand clients across transport, power, local government, water and telecommunications - supporting projects that connect communities in urban, regional and rural communities. Ventia’s new HB365LC-3 excavator combines Komatsu’s industry-leading Hybrid technology with ultra-low emissions Tier 4 diesel technology and support’s Ventia’s strategy of redefining service excellence through its client focus, innovation and commitment to sustainability.
According to Neil Cates, Ventia’s Regional Manager, Northland for its Transport NZ operations, sustainability at Ventia is more than just about reducing the company’s environmental footprint.
“It’s quite simply the right thing to do,” says Neil.
“We strive to deliver our services in a sustainable and innovative way, and we plan to have 100% of our fleet either EV or hybrid by 2030.”
Neil says that Ventia began speaking about this technology with Garth Dixon, Komatsu NZ’s National Sales Manager, at last year’s Quarry Conference.
“We looked at the Hybrid option and quickly saw that it has productivity benefits: much more powerful slew, faster cycle times and great fuel savings.
“Our main goal in purchasing this equipment has been to decrease downtime, increase productivity and decrease emissions.
“The Hybrid option resonated well with our capex approvers, and of course it was well aligned with Ventia’s sustainability strategy,” says Neil.
Shane King, Ventia’s SHEQ (Safety, Health, Environment and Quality) Manager for the company’s Transport NZ operations, says the new machine’s safety and ergonomic features were also important elements in introducing the company’s latest waka.
“I’m glad to [see] this new machine and all the new safety features … that help our team, [including] really good ergonomics inside for operators,” he says.
“As a past operator, and where we are as an industry at the moment, the mana this brings to our operators with the new piece of plant.
“That’s the office they work in ten hours a day, so if we can keep our staff, we keep our retention and we keep our good people.
“That’s a great advantage that Komatsu brings to us.”
Shane says specific safety features, along with Komatsu’s commitment to operator training and assessment helped Ventia’s team understand the new equipment, its safety and quality features, and how to get the best from them.
“The other massive feature [has been] Komatsu’s training and assessment, [having] their plant assessor come and talk to our guys. [That gives] them the key skills and understanding of the plant.
“That keeps them safe and ensures that they are looking after the plant and also looking after themselves at work.
“That way they are productive, they can get the material out, and they can go home safe for their families and spend the weekend with their whanau,” says Shane.
Garth Dixon, Komatsu NZ’s National Sales Manager, says the delivery of the HD365LC-3 Hybrid was an excellent example of how Ventia and Komatsu shared common goals around sustainability, the environment and safety.
“The HB365 is very efficient in the way it combines hybrid technology and Tier 4 diesel efficiency, giving fuel savings of up to 20% better than comparable machines,” he says.
“It’s also very productive.
“The electric slew combined the hydraulic power to the bucket, arm and boom produces a very efficient machine, especially in a quarry application as we have with Ventia’s Puketona quarry.
“This type of work, slewing back and forth, loading crushers, loading trucks – that’s where it is particularly productive,” says Garth.