Laing O'Rourke announces AUD$12m investment in electric construction equipment, launching Australia’s first renewable fleet of 250t crawler cranes and telehandlers

Australia, 18 November 2022: Global engineering and construction company Laing O'Rourke has announced the acquisition of a series of electric plant and vehicles bound for local infrastructure projects. This is the first investment of its type for the Australian construction sector and is part of the company’s efforts to reduce scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions and reach operational net zero by 2030.

Australia’s first two 250 tonne electric crawler cranes will arrive in early 2023, with the first arrival to be deployed on a Western Australian infrastructure project.

Managed by Select Plant Australia, a subsidiary of Laing O’Rourke, the two Liebherr LR 1250.1 fully electric lattice jib crawler cranes produce zero emissions while offering the same performance as their diesel-powered counterparts.

In another first for the Australian construction sector, Laing O’Rourke will add a fleet of 2.5 tonne electric telehandlers to Select’s growing range of electric plant and equipment. The ten Manitou MT 625E model telehandlers produce zero emissions and very low noise, helping to improve operator awareness and communication with other workers.

These acquisitions will add to the 8.5 tonne SEA electric trucks, 3 tonne electric teletruks, electric plate compactors, lighting solutions and battery energy storage systems which are already in use by Select on Australian construction sites.

Rebecca Hanley, Managing Director – Australia at Laing O'Rourke, said the purchase of pioneering electric plant was evidence of the company’s commitment to sustainability, innovation, and sector leadership.

“Electric plant and equipment are a game changer for our sector. Globally, we set an ambitious target to achieve operational net zero by 2030, which relates to scope 1 and 2 emissions, and be a net zero company before 2050, which relates to scope 3 emissions,” said Rebecca.

“Investment in this type of technology, along with our solar-powered site compounds and other initiatives means we can both deliver certainty for our clients and meet our commitments to the world around us. “Laing O’Rourke’s mission is to be the recognised leader for innovation and excellence in the construction industry, and this is just another example of how we are striving to fulfil that goal and support change in the sector,” said Rebecca.

Nathan Mitschuinig, Business Unit Leader at Select Plant Australia, said: “Select is one of the most innovative suppliers in the world, and electric fleet options have already been proven on our major European projects. We will now have the largest fleet of electric construction equipment in the country. Our range is growing weekly with electric, solar and hybrid power solutions.

“Construction contributes around 23% of global carbon emissions. Roughly 5.5% of those emissions are directly related to activities on construction sites. Using electric plant will help reduce that number given diesel is one of the biggest contributors,” said Nathan.

To ensure carbon emissions remain low, projects will be encouraged to charge the plant with Greenpower offset mains electricity or renewable power on remote or off-grid sites. Laing O’Rourke has already been recognised for its award-winning solar-powered construction sites, delivered for clients in Victoria and
Western Australia.

Electric Crawler Crane - Liebherr LR 1250.1
Lifting capacity: 250 tonnes
Operating time: 8 hours of lifting work
Charging time: 4.5 hours

Electric Telehandler - Manitou MT 625E
Lifting capacity: 2.5 tonnes
Operating time: 8 hours
Charging time: 2 hours 10 with the 9KW fast charger or overnight with standard
Attachments: Rotator, bucket and jib

Electric Teletruk - JCB 30-19E
Lifting capacity: 3 tonnes
Lifting height: 4,000 meters
Travel speed: 18kph
Operating time: 8 hours with 80% battery consumption (ability to switch out batteries with ease)

Electric Truck - SEA 8.5T
GVM: 8,500 kg
Charging: 6.5 hours from zero or 2 hours with fast charging

Reference:1. L. Huang, G. Krigsvoll, F. Johansen, Y. Liu and X. Zhang, “Carbon emission of global construction sector,” Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, pp. 1906-1916, 2018.