A specialist Scottish plant hirer and earthworks contractor is using a pair of track-mounted mobile crushers in preparatory works for what is scheduled to become Europe’s largest onshore windfarm when it comes online next year.
Glasgow-based earthworks contractor AB2000 is using two Extec C 12 track-mounted mobile crushers to spearhead a project to construct Europe’s largest electricity-generating windfarm.
The project is a joint venture between Morrison Construction and Balfour Kilpatrick, known as MBK Whitelee Joint Venture, and involves the construction of 140 wind turbines, each standing 100 m tall.
Situated on 50 km2 of moorland at East Kilbride, 15 km south of Glasgow, the 322 MW Whitelee windfarm is scheduled to come online in 2008 and is part of Scotland’s goal to derive 40% of its electrical power from renewable sources by 2020.
Situated on Lochgoin Moor, which rises to 330 m above sea level, the area is covered in a thick layer of peat that is up to 12 m deep in places. A key part of the preparatory works, therefore, is the stabilisation of the ground with rock won from a nearby quarry or one of a series of nearby borrow pits created by MBK using equipment provided by AB2000.
In the main quarry, where rock is taken from a 20 m high face, AB2000 employs an older C 12 track-mounted mobile crusher. Loaded by a Caterpillar 320LC hydraulic excavator equipped with a 3 m3 capacity bucket, the unit is producing around 2000 t of rock per day
Each of the borrow pits, meanwhile, is approximately 1 hectare in area with a face of around 10 m high. Here the rock is blasted weekly and then crushed to 125 mm grades by a new C 12+ machine. Loaded by a Cat 320 excavator, the new C 12+ has produced around 1 million tonnes of igneous rock to date.
“Both of our Extec machines are responsible for supplying the windfarm project with high quality sub-base material that is stable enough to bear a 500 tonne load and has the free draining properties required to meet the exacting water purity and environmental standard of the project,” says AB2000’s Alastair Robb. “And the two machines have performed superbly.”
According to Robb, the Whitelee Windfarm project is one of the largest contracts AB2000 has been involved with since it was founded 12 years ago. To produce thousands of tonnes of sub base each day requires a reliable and efficient crusher at the heart of the project. “This is one of the most prestigious contracts we’ve been involved with, so it was imperative that everything worked smoothly. We had more than enough plant to ensure there were no bottlenecks but the really important pieces of plant are the two Extec crushers,” Alastair Robb concludes.
14 January 2008
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