Electric concrete pumping wins out over diesel

A case study on a project that trialled the use of fossil fuel free construction methods has been released by Lendlease.

When constructing a 30-storey tower in Sydney’s CBD, the company used electric machinery and equipment where options were available. This included a concrete pump, two tower cranes, two hoists, elevated work platforms and a formwork hoist.

As part of its Absolute Zero Carbon by 2040 strategy, Lendlease compared the use of an electric concrete pump for the One Sydney Harbour Watermans Residences building with an equivalent diesel concrete pump it deployed on a neighbouring project.

The findings demonstrated that the electric pump consumed 67% less energy; it produced zero emissions when powered by renewable electricity; and reduced operation energy costs of concrete pumping by 59.1%.

Lendlease revealed that electric concrete pumping proved 50.8% cheaper overall to operate when factoring in energy and carbon costs for addressing residual Scope 1 and 2 emissions to achieve net zero carbon.

In addition, using an electric pump for concrete incurs lower lifetime costs, according to the company, than the diesel equivalent due to having the same upfront purchase costs and lower operating, maintenance and servicing expenses despite infrastructure upgrades and battery technology considerations.

“We are working towards our goal of zero fossil fuels in our Australian construction activities,” Lendlease stated. “To achieve this, it is imperative that we prioritise using electric construction machinery and equipment and biofuels such as biodiesel and renewable diesel, where electric options are not available.”

Read the Lendlease research paper.

About the author

Desi Corbett

Desi is our weekly news journalist and the editor of Concrete in Australia magazine for 10 years. She has been heavily involved in all forms of engineering since 2013; part of a 30-year writing career across a range of subjects and media.