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Nov 26, 2020

Up to quadruple savings with Electric Lokotracks in Iceland

Electric is key when it comes to the cost-efficiency of Iceland’s largest crushing contractor Steypustöðin ehf. At a quarry close to Reykjavik, Metso’s electrically operated Lokotracks are three to four times more cost-effective than the corresponding diesel-operated versions.
Lokotracks at Steypustödin quarry

When compared to diesel operation, electric crushing achieves up to quadruple savings at the Hafnarfjörður quarry.

Steypustöðin is the market leader in crushing and concrete production in Iceland. Over the course of a year, the company’s two main quarries produce approximately half a million cubic meters of crushed stone, most of which is used at the company’s six concrete mixing plants.

Steypustöðin now has a total of 20 Metso crushing and screening plants, ranging from a G1814 cone crusher to Barmac vsi crushers, LT series jaw and impact crushers, and ST series mobile screens. Of these, one Lokotrack LT120E jaw crusher and LT330D crushing and screen plant are fully electric.

 

“Mobility and reliability are most important”

“For us, the most important characteristics of crushing and screening plants are good mobility and reliability. The climate in Iceland being what it is, we can only crush stone when the weather allows it—and when it does, the crushers must operate without interruption,” says Hörður Pétursson, the managing director of the operation of Steypustöðin.

Hörður Pétursson, the managing director of the operation of Steypustöðin and Sigurdur Sigursson, servicing manager

Hörður Pétursson, the managing director of the operation of Steypustöðin (right) and Sigurdur Sigursson, servicing manager, with a list of their twenty Metso products behind them.

“We have been able to rely on Metso’s equipment – which is why we have remained loyal to the brand in terms of our crushing and screening equipment. Metso is an important partner for us. If any problems appear, we can resolve them with the support of Metso’s representative Vélafl,” Petursson says.

Steypustöðin has three crushing teams that work at the company’s two quarries as well as doing contract work all around Iceland. While travelling, they mostly produce road foundation materials.

The crushing conditions in Iceland are some of the most demanding in the world: humid feed can easily coat the surfaces of crushers and screens. Furthermore, the wind is often so strong that the paint is quickly sandblasted off the surfaces of working machines.

Investment in electricity was worth it

In 2014, Steypustöðin built a new 12 km power line to the Hafnarfjörður quarry close to Reykjavik just for crushing purposes. The electric Lokotracks were taken into use in 2017.

“Direct electric drive has proven to be the right solution, and the investment will quickly pay itself back. When compared to operating on diesel, the savings are triple or quadruple. The plant is also more reliable, because there are far less parts to maintain,” says Sigurdur Sigurdsson, who is in charge of servicing.

“As an added bonus, there are less environmental emissions. Natural values are important to us; after all, tourism is currently the most important industry in Iceland, even before fishing.”

200 metric tons per hour

The production process at the Hafnarfjörður quarry has four stages. The blasted crushed stone is first loaded into an LT120E jaw crusher plant with a wheel loader, and then from there it is transferred to an LT330D crushing and screen plant where a three-deck screen separates fines.

The third crushing stage to make the final product cube-shaped is handled by a Barmac B7150 vertical shaft impact crusher. Finally, all the concrete aggregates are washed in a separate washing plant.

Steypustöðin’s six concrete mixing plants make concrete elements from the company’s own raw materials. Loftorka, a company that Steypustöðin purchased in 2017, turns the concrete into an extensive construction product portfolio.

On-site work only for superhumans

“Our quarry workers really are actual superhumans: they are not afraid of coming to work when it is windy and snowing. They need a strong disposition to work a full day under conditions where the wind can knock over a passenger vehicle or an empty truck,” says Hörður Pétursson praising his employees.

Stefán Logi Björnsson is one of Steypustöðin’s employees

Stefán Logi Björnsson is one of Steypustöðin’s supermen who are not afraid of the Icelandic wind and snow.

The exceptional conditions also cause extra work. All working machines must be modified to withstand the extreme conditions in Iceland. It is quite usual for the working day to start with using hot water to wash off fines that have stuck to the equipment because of the humid sea air.

Due to the climate, Steypustöðin’s crushing days in winter are shorter: approximately eight hours from Monday to Friday. In the summer when the sun shines all day round, the crushers are operated for at least twelve hours a day, also on Saturdays.

*Metso Outotec was formed July 1, 2020 when Metso and Outotec merged into one company. This case study has been written prior to the merger under the old company name.

 
 
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