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Crusher has the power

Roadworks are a familiar sight to Wairarapa residents, with local and central government contractors struggling to keep up with the pace of change and maintenance required.

All that work comes at a cost, and it’s not just fiscal.

Now, an electric asphalt recycler is not only putting Waingawa on the map but is also significantly reducing roadwork carbon emissions.

Local company Equip2 was an integral player in supplying the first fully electric asphalt crusher in Australasia.

The 30-tonne Belgian-designed behemoth, requested by Fulton Hogan, was unveiled recently in Auckland, with Transport Minister Michael Wood calling it a win for the industry.

“We have a big challenge in our system to decarbonise transport. Some that is about what we build, but it’s also how we build it.”

Equip2 general manager Bert Hart said the fully electric model would save nearly 80 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year compared to the traditional diesel-powered model.

Hart said the Waingawa company, which specialises in quarry equipment including recyclers, sorters, and machinery to crush and shred the material, recognised that the future was electric.

“We are transitioning our product range in line with rapidly growing customer demand.

“The machine we have supplied to Fulton Hogan crushes old asphalt into little pieces so it can be reused for future roading projects.”

He said currently, every person in New Zealand consumed about nine tonnes of aggregate per year, reducing emissions was essential.

“In Wairarapa, we have a lot of aggregate gravel roads used by farmers and forestry.

“It’s in everything; industrial buildings, housing, technology, health care, roading is the obvious one.”

Hart said the fully electric model was about $200,000 more expensive, but it paid dividends down the line.

“You’re not just saving fuel burn. The electric machine is also more powerful.

“When we look at these two machines [eclectic and diesel], there are the emissions savings but we get 30 per cent more throughput with electric.

“There is more profit out of running the electric model.”

He said Wairarapa residents would be familiar with contractors ‘road milling’ at night.

“They rip up the road and stockpile it, and we’re processing that through the crusher.

“It grinds it down into smaller and smaller fractions and puts it back into virgin roads.”

Hart said like overseas, the goal was to recycle 100 per cent of milled asphalt.

Fulton Hogan department manager Wayne Richardson said the company aimed to recycle all broken-up asphalt and blend it with new material at mixes of 10-40 per cent.

Mary Argue
Mary Argue
Mary Argue is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age with an interest in justice and the region’s emergency services, regularly covering Masterton District Court, Fire and Emergency and Police.

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