- The first completely clean hydrogen-powered excavator will start work this month on the Sterke Lekdijk dyke improvement project near Schoonhoven.
With the deployment of the 30-tonne zero-emission crawler excavator, Mourik is taking the next big step towards a completely clean and sustainable machine park. The international family business has the ambition to use only zero-emission equipment by 2030.
‘It looks exactly like a traditional excavator. However, it is so clean that we can even work with it in Natura 2000 areas. In addition, the hydrogen version is more powerful than the normal version’, says Kees Jan Mourik, chairman of the board of contractor and technical service provider Mourik. ‘For those who like; it is a converted Liebherr R926 Generation 8 that, thanks to our modifications, emits no CO₂ and NOx at all. The machine can run for a full working day without the need to replace the batteries or top up the hydrogen. So there is no loss of time. That makes this unique excavator optimally deployable and profitable for our clients.’
Mourik previously developed a technology with which NOx emissions from construction equipment such as excavators, crane piling machines, rollers, asphalt machines and generators can be reduced by no less than 97%. Mourik: ‘By innovating in zero-emission equipment, we can still get started on important infrastructure projects and dyke improvement projects, despite the strict nitrogen regulation.’
There is a great need
Mourik: ‘It also opens up possibilities for projects for which it is currently difficult or impossible to obtain permits in connection with emissions. With zero emissions, we offer the solution to this most important hurdle. The need is high. Construction must go on. As a family business, we are proud that we can take the lead in this.’
Mourik did the conversion of the excavator in-house. Walter Deelen, director of Mourik Infra: ‘The technology is new, so we had to build up the knowledge ourselves. That is entrusted to our innovation specialists at our subsidiary Mourik Techniek. Together with innovation specialist Accenda and with support from supplier Liebherr, we have developed a blueprint for how you can convert construction machines quickly and efficiently.’
The clever minds at Mourik are now busy extracting green hydrogen from roadside grass and pruning waste. Mourik: ‘Green hydrogen will become scarce if more companies switch to clean working. With a little creativity we can also find solutions for this challenge. Innovation is our spearhead. Our specialists mainly see opportunities.’