Metso Insights Blog Aggregates blog Working towards more sustainable operations in the aggregates industry
Sep 12, 2022

Working towards more sustainable operations in the aggregates industry

Jarmo Vuorenpää
Jarmo Vuorenpää
Director, New Lokotrack Offering
While all aspects of sustainability are important to us, we have a particular focus on climate change. For the world to reach net-zero emissions, a major transformation in our customer industries is needed: accelerating the shift towards electrification, moving to renewable energy sources, increasing usage of low-carbon technologies and continuous efficiency improvement.

Aggregates industry is facing serious sustainability challenges in the coming years

Climate change, scarcity of natural resources and urbanization are increasing the demand for sustainable solutions. At the same time, digitalization brings new opportunities for optimization and improved efficiency. The crushed stone market is expected to increase at a rate of almost 10% annually between now and 2027. The aggregates industry has a carbon footprint in the hundreds of millions of tons of CO2 already now and with the expected growth, carbon emissions are likely to increase substantially. More sustainable solutions are needed to tackle the energy and emissions challenges that the whole industry is facing. We know that our aggregates contractors need easy-to-use, energy efficient and high-mobility solutions.

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Lokotrack e-Power range supports our aggregates customers in their sustainability ambitions

As a response to the fast-growing demand for more sustainable crushing and screening equipment, Metso Outotec introduced the Lokotrack e-Power range, which brought the diesel-electric Lokotrack mobile crushing and screening units into one, distinctive offering. The two energy sources - electricity and diesel - as a duo are gaining increased importance among aggregate producers and equipment manufacturers. Hybrid machines have either an integrated generator or a set of electric motors and pumps. The main feature is that there is a selector that enables a choice between diesel and electricity for the selected process.

The biggest environmental impacts of Metso Outotec’s products are generated when in use in customers’ operations. Central to our sustainability efforts in enabling our customers to reach their own sustainability targets is our Planet Positive offering. In total over 100 products and services that are demonstrably more energy- or water efficient than the industry benchmark that help our customers cut their CO2 emissions or achieve other sustainability priorities such as reducing pollution. We use concrete data to evidence the sustainability performance and related performance claims such as energy efficiency improvements. Lokotrack e-Power range is part of our Planet Positive Portfolio.

The possibility of switching between e-Power and diesel is especially valuable for those who operate in urban areas or otherwise in circumstances that are regulated in terms of noise and emissions. Depending on how the electricity is generated, the hybrid solution can reduce both noise and emission and help meet the requirements of a certain contract. In cases where there is a combination of several diesel-electric units operating together, it could be possible to run an e-Power mobile screen from another Lokotrack crusher unit. This means replacing two diesel engines with one, further reducing the operating costs.

Benefits of electrification and digitalization for our customers are obvious

Around 40% of our aggregates product portfolio is already electric. Based on Metso Outotec’s data, a Lokotrack unit uses as much as 80% less oils compared to previous models and to many other brands on the market. Naturally, the hybrid driveline reduces the need for oils and lubricants even further. The volumes of hydraulic oil and lubricant have been reduced by more than half to further ease the environmental burden

Some of the hybrid benefits are obvious – such as less pollution and fewer service points. But efficiency comes from more than one factor. For instance, plug-in units have way better operational efficiency of up to 95%. What is more, a Lokotrack train efficiency in diesel-electric operation may increase if a single Lokotrack crusher can provide enough power with its generator to drive another unit as well, such as a screen. The energy consumption of a Lokotrack mobile crusher is dictated by its crusher unit, as it uses roughly 2/3 of the consumed energy. Optimizing the crushing and screening process is the key to a more sustainable, CO2-free future. Providing solutions that utilize energy without losing it as heat is essential. Energy savings come in also when there is more fuel not just for the crusher but also for the screen. When using the power grid one can opt for renewable electricity also.

We are also developing a complete range of electrically driven track-mounted crushers and screens. This transformational technology will support our crushing and screening customers in their sustainability ambitions by providing easy-to-use diesel-electric equipment that can be run from an integrated genset or connected to an external power source. This lowers operational costs and allows better access to renewable energy sources.

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