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Mammoet Makes World's First All-Electric Heavy SPMT Move

May 3, 2022 - Mammoet recently achieved a major milestone in sustainable heavy lifting and transport when it replaced a production vessel at a chemical plant in the Netherlands using only electric power.

The Shell facility produces feedstock for a range of everyday applications, including medical equipment, car components, and cellphones.

When a key production vessel needed to be replaced, the customer wanted to see how it could be done with the least possible environmental impact.

Seeking ways that new technology can help reduce – and eventually eliminate – the carbon footprint of projects, Mammoet has explored many possible solutions in recent years. One focus has been a partnership with Scheuerle to transition Mammoet’s SPMT fleet from diesel to renewable energy.

While electric technology is nothing new for European vehicles, the force SPMTs need in order to move heavy loads has presented significant barriers to finding an equivalent to diesel.

Extensive research and testing have now found an answer.

The ePPU was used with four axle lines of SPMT operating in an extremely tight area of the existing plant. That meant there were only a few meters in which to maneuver the existing vessel out and drive the new one into position.

In fact, space was so limited that not all SPMT lines could be positioned beneath the outgoing vessel. That meant it needed to be secured above the front two axle lines of SPMT, with the ePPU acting as a counterweight to balance the vessel 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. The new vessel was then moved back into place ready to be installed and commissioned.

Using the ePPU delivered important benefits for the project.

Ludo Mous, operations director at Mammoet Europe, explains: “The ePPU is a really important step in how we support our customers with decarbonizing projects. 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.”

The successful application of the ePPU here signals just the start of an exciting development for Mammoet and the wider industry. Although there is still work to be done to ensure electric power is sufficient for use in larger scale SPMT projects, the technology is now proven in use and ready to be rolled out across a broader range of work around the world. 

Added Mous: “We were extremely pleased that the ePPU performed as we expected, delivering a low-carbon solution for our customer. We expect demand for it to be high, in particular for projects that are looking for more sustainable options or where exhaust emissions must be kept to a minimum for safety reasons, such as civil projects taking place within tunnels or work inside nuclear facilities.” 


Crane Hot Line is part of the Catalyst Communications Network publication family.