Liebherr is to switch the fuel used for its mobile and crawler cranes to pure Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils (HVO) fuels, produced with renewable energy, and that comply with EN 15940.
All Liebherr engines up to the 560KW are now approved for operation with modern HVO fuel which is manufactured mainly from vegetable and animal oil and fat waste from the food industry and converted into hydrocarbons by adding hydrogen. This means that the engines are “essentially CO2-neutral”.
Liebherr says that its main focus now is to work in partnership with its HVO suppliers and manufacturers, to ensure that no foodstuffs, particularly palm oil, are used in the production of the HVO it uses or recommends.
The conversion from fossil diesel to HVO fuel will apply to the crane acceptance procedure and test drives as well as to the initial fuelling of cranes prior to delivery. In order to prepare for the conversion to HVO Liebherr has checked that the engines are first certified and approved for HVO by the manufacturers. The cranes then went through an extensive test programme, followed by trials with customers.
Ulrich Hamme, managing director design & development at Ehingen, said: “If we consider the entire life cycle of a crane from cradle to grave, including its production, CO2 emissions from a five axle crane using HVO fall by 74 percent compared to a crane powered by diesel. This was shown in a study and calculation carried out by business consultancy Frontier Economics. This is an important step in reducing CO2 emissions.”
Liebherr says that the fuels are also suitable for use in most of its existing cranes right now and are approved for used In Europe, Asia, Africa and South America. It adds that a key challenge is the availability, Hamme adds: “To make HVO or other synthetic fuels attractive for crane operators, they must be available nationwide and in plentiful quantities at filling stations, as is the case today with diesel. That will not be possible from one day to the next. But Liebherr is making a start, and we are hopeful that it will have a signal effect.”
Production director Ulrich Heusel said: “Germany has included synthetic, paraffin based fuels, which do not yet comply with EN 15940 (XTL), in its regulations relating to the quality of fuels. This is why HVO is not yet available at the filling station network. However, HVO is available at public filling stations for road vehicles in Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands and Belgium as an additive for fossil diesel fuel or in pure form. We will be able to save 2.5 million litres of fossil diesel per year by switching to HVO fuel. That will mean an annual reduction of around 6,500 tonnes of CO2.”
Swedish rental company Kranpunkten recently switched its fleet to HVO100 fossil free renewable diesel in order to reduce its climate impact - see: Kranpunkten converts to HVO.