In December 2022, ACCIONA's ground engineering business, Geotech, signed an order to purchase a Liebherr LB 30 ‘Unplugged’ piling rig following visits to the BAUMA Construction Expo in Munich, Germany, and the Liebherr foundation equipment factory in Austria.

The LB 30 Unplugged will be the first fully electric piling rig to operate in Australia, and will arrive in October 2023 to commence work on the North East Link Project – Northern Package.

Geotech has been actively investigating the prospects of electric piling equipment and has taken the opportunity to purchase what is effectively the largest fully electric piling rig in the world to complement its expanding fleet of Liebherr piling rigs.

The purchase of the LB 30 Unplugged aligns with our Sustainability Master Plan 2025 goal to achieve a 60% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030. The new rig will produce zero emissions through its ability to operate under full battery power (i.e. unplugged) or connected to a conventional electric supply while operating.

Critically, the power and performance of the LB 30 Unplugged is equivalent to the traditional diesel-powered LB 30 rig, with the added advantage of no engine noise (addressing noise pollution concerns, especially during night shifts).

Geotech’s General Manager Nick Karapetsas said the unplugged rig is a game-changer for Geotech and ACCIONA. ‘We’re very conscious of the impact large construction equipment has on the environment. We want to be at the forefront of improving the industry by using the latest technology to drive a zero-emissions culture.

‘As an early adopter of fully electric technology, we want to explore further opportunities in this space, and the best way to do this is by acting, which we have done by purchasing the LB 30 Unplugged.’

We look forward to providing further updates on the LB 30 Unplugged, especially when the rig arrives in Australia and we start commissioning, training and mobilisation.

The purchase continues our continued investment with Liebherr, a partnership that was featured in Earthmoving Equipment Magazine.