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The future of the crane industry is emission free

With the unplugged series, Liebherr recently launched the world’s first battery-powered crawler cranes. Only hours before the official unveiling in December 2020, the very first LR 1250.1 unplugged had its premiere at a jobsite in Oslo.

Customer Kynningsrud Nordic Crane AS was using the crane for lifting operations to build a new sports centre. But the story with the first customer begins even before the crane was ever planned.

Two years ago, during a business lunch with Liebherr representatives, Eirik Kynningsrud General Manager Kynningsrud Nordic Crane AS, asked the question that changed everything, “What’s new in Nenzing?”

At the time it was still top secret, but a sneak preview for the long-time customer was okay. “We are working on a battery-powered crawler crane.” Kynningsrud’s curiousity was aroused and he wondered. “Do you have a first customer?” “No, not yet.” “Well, you have one now.”

At the time Kynningsrud hadn’t seen any drawings or plans of the LR 1250.1 unplugged. Some weeks later at Bauma 2019 Liebherr could show him the LB 16 unplugged, the first battery-powered drilling rig in the world. The idea was to extend the alternative drive concept to the crane. Six months later, Kynningsrud saw the initial drawings of his unplugged model for the very first time.

Kynningsrud explains why he ordered the LR 1250.1 unplugged before it was even designed.

“We didn’t think it was crazy. In Norway, we have the challenge that our government wants to have zero emission construction sites, and we want to be a leading company for these projects. We always try to be the green alternative.

“I have been interested in the crane since I heard about it during my visit to Austria. At Bauma we had a brief presentation of the concept, it was convincing, and we decided we wanted the first LR 1250.1 unplugged.

Kynningsrud explains how his business partners reacted to the idea of ordering a crane you’ve never seen before.

“The partners were very positive that we can work emission free, and of course it attracts quite a lot of interest, providing us with plenty of positive publicity. It was important for us to be the first customer to purchase the LR 1250.1 unplugged as we want to be the leading company delivering emission-free cranes,” he said.

Kinningsrud confirmed the business is planning to extend the fleet with other unplugged cranes.

“The future for the crane industry in Norway is emission free. We are very interested to see the launch of the LR 1130 and LR 1160 later this year. The LR 1250.1 unplugged with its 250t load capacity is too big for many projects and is, therefore, also more costly for our customers,” he said.

The first jobsite of the LR 1250.1 unplugged was in Oslo with Kinningsrud describing the performance of the crane as very good with the crane still on the project. The LR 1250.1 has come to the notice of the Norwegian Parliament and the general feedback has been very positive says Kinningsrud.

“At the official launch of the crane, Ingjerd Schou, Vice-President of the Norwegian Parliament, was there and he made a speech about the importance of construction sites with zero emission.

“The general feedback on the crane has been very good. The operator is very happy with its performance although to begin with he missed the accelerator pedal on the floor to adjust the speed of movements. Now he is accustomed to using only the joysticks. Contractors working with the crane are also very positive.

“The reduced noise emission of the crane in major cities is also very positive together with zero emissions. It makes it easier to communicate and, in a way, safer on the construction site. The electrical supply for the crane worked very well and we had no problems getting the electrical supply on the construction site. We are working on several projects, but we have not yet decided which project the LR1250.1 unplugged will go to next,” he said.

Kynningsrud supports a HSE strategy (Health, Safety and Environment) and explains what this means.

“Kynningsrud Nordic Crane contributes to environmentally friendly and sustainable development. We shall achieve this by identifying our environmental aspects, implement preventive measures and ensure compliance and continuous improvement while simultaneously placing requirements on our selection of goods and suppliers of services,” he said.

“Our efforts to minimize our influence on the environment involves everyone in the company, and we shall follow all relevant laws, regulations and requirements. When we invest, we think green, and all new machines shall have the latest environmental classification.

“Our focus is on an environmentally friendly machinery park and reducing our carbon footprint. Our vision, “pleasure of being useful”, and our values “honest – loyal – enthusiastic” provide a guideline for our environmental efforts. The role of the unplugged crane in this environmental sense should be clear – we aim to minimize our influence on the environment, to reduce our carbon footprint, and as you see – we think green,” said Kynningsrud.

Kynningsrud talks about tenders for construction projects and the increased demand for alternative drive systems for construction machinery.

“We are seeing a growth in demand for more environmentally friendly construction equipment, particularly in the Oslo region where there is a lot of focus on reducing emissions on construction sites. We expect expect more projects will request unplugged cranes,” he said.

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