Over 50% of the Electric Energy consumed in the USA is generated by fossil fuel (coal) burning power plants and this is not going to change in the near future. Utility companies burning fossil fuels require a carefully blended mix of coal which is sourced from US mines as well as Latin American and international suppliers to minimize fuel expenses and in order to meet increasingly stringent emission regulations.
Now these fossil fuel burning power plants also need to offload limestone for their flue gas desulphurization systems to comply with emission regulations.
As most US power plants have been built 30 to 40 or more years ago, utility companies are now struggling to find a cost effective, modern replacement for their ageing, obsolete fuel handling equipment to keep abreast with the increasing demand for clean energy.
This increase in fuel and now limestone handling is an additional expense for utilities. As a prudent business practice, utilities strive to keep these expenses to a minimum. How? Dedicated offloading systems are costly, inflexible and require a costly, inflexible infrastructure.
Modified excavators converted to material handlers are another approach. However, most utility companies are located on rivers, which experience considerable level fluctuations during the seasons. A long range of motion is mandatory to cope with these changes. This is not the excavator’s strong suit. The long downreach required combined with a fixed counterweight results in reduced capacity, long cycle times and subsequently low productivity.
A cost-effective solution to fulfill these difficult requirements and to “stay ahead of the game” is the E-Crane® to handle both coal and limestone and whatever other bulk commodities may be required.
The E-Crane® series offers models with up to 49 tonnes duty cycle capacity due to their movable counterweight and fixed parallelogram linkage as well as up to 15Oft/50m of horizontal and up to 100ft/30m reach below grade! This makes the E-Crane® ideally suited for the bulk material handling requirements typically encountered.
An ex:ample: a large utility company with several plants in the central part of the USA took considerable analysis and deliberation to choose the right material handler to upgrade the ageing fuel handling systems for their powerplants.
The result is that as of this date five E-Cranes have been installed and three more E-Crane® installations are pending for this demanding client.
E-Cranes feature modular construction which means that each E-Crane® is tailored to the specific requirements of the client, even though the majority of the E-Cranes are pedestal mounted, rail, crawler, high portal, barge installation and other mounting options are available to utilize the E-Crane® to its fullest potential. As of 2006 an electronic engine management system wired via CanBus means simplified wiring, remote diagnosis capabilities and the ability to tailor the crane to operator preferences.
E-Crane USA will deliver and install ten E-Cranes in 2007 and is taking orders now fot 2008 delivery.
The E-Crane®: an energy-efficient, flexible, upgradeable bulk material handling crane for the client that requires productivity between 300tph (tonnes per hour) to 1,800tph.
Source: Dry Cargo International: June 2007 Issue, Page 54