Mammoet has replaced a production vessel at a chemical plant in the Netherlands using purely electric power.

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The Shell facility produces feedstock for a range of everyday applications including medical equipment, car components and mobile phones. Seeking ways in which new technology can help to reduce – and eventually eradicate - the carbon footprint of projects, Mammoet said it has explored many possible solutions in recent years. One focus has been a partnership with Scheuerle to transition its SPMT fleet from diesel to renewable energy.

The sheer force required for SPMTs to deliver in moving heavy items has presented significant barriers to finding an equivalent solution to diesel, said Mammoet. That barrier has now been overcome.

The electric power pack unit (ePPU) was used with four axle lines of SPMTs operating in an extremely tight area of the existing plant, which meant that there were only a few metres in which to manoeuvre the existing vessel out and drive the new one into position.  

Not all the SPMT lines could be positioned beneath the outgoing vessel. It was therefore secured above the front two axle lines, with the ePPU acting as a counterweight to balance the unit as it was transported. A crane was then used to remove the old vessel and lower its replacement onto the SPMT in the same position. This was then moved back into place ready to be installed and commissioned.   

“The ePPU is a really important step in how we support our customers with decarbonising projects,” said Ludo Mous, operations director at Mammoet Europe. “But in this case, the benefits were not limited only to a lower carbon footprint. With work taking place in a highly confined area, we would have been highly conscious of the emissions generated by a typical diesel PPU and would need to carefully manage operatives’ exposure to it. By using an electric model, we removed this issue completely, whilst also creating a much quieter working environment.” 

Mammoet said that there is still work to be done to ensure electric power is sufficient for use in larger scale SPMT projects, but the technology is now proven and ready to be rolled out across a broader range of work.