Drill & Blast

Hybrid excavator sets sail for Antarctica

Komatsu has donated one of its hybrid excavators to the International Polar Foundation at Princess Elisabeth Antarctica.

At a ceremony in Fleurus, Belgium, Komatsu Europe International CEO and managing director Keiko Fujiwara handed the HB215LC-1 hybrid excavator to the vice president of the International Polar Foundation Nighat Amin and executive director Andreas Wagner.
{{image2-a:r-w:200}}The Komatsu HB215LC-1 is a second-generation hybrid that uses 25 per cent less fuel and emits 25 per cent less CO2 than a traditional excavator. It channels kinetic energy from the braking creating by the turning motion of the excavator?s body directly into energy that is used for the operation of the machine, instead of storing it in batteries.  

Princess Elisabeth Antarctica is a zero emission wind- and solar-powered polar research station so it is natural for it to use vehicles that will leave a light environmental footprint. 

The station was designed, built and operated by the International Polar Foundation. It is the first polar base to combine eco-friendly construction materials, clean and efficient energy use, optimised energy consumption and innovative waste management techniques.
Princess Elisabeth is connected to nine wind turbines stretching out along the ridge, which generate much of its power. The upper deck of the building is the actual station, able to house up to 16 scientists at a time while the lower deck contains a garage for vehicles and utility equipment.

Komatsu?s excavator was loaded onto the Mary Arctica in the port of Zeebrugge, in Belgium, for the long voyage south to Antarctica where the Princess Elisabeth Antarctica team took it on its long 240km trek from the coast to the station.

It is now being used for clearing ice and snow and for construction work.

Sources: International Polar Foundation, Komatsu

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