A world first - a hybrid drilling rig for geotechnical surveys | Photo: Multiconsult

Multiconsult introduces first hybrid drilling rig

The very first hybrid drilling rig for geotechnical surveys in Norway, and probably in the world, is ready for its first assignment for Multiconsult. The rig, which will produce virtually zero emissions, sets a new standard for construction equipment.

18. January 2021

“This is the closest thing to a green geotechnical drilling rig that exists, and we are looking forward to starting to use it”, says Vidar Baafjord, who heads Multiconsult’s geotechnical survey section. Multiconsult’s new hybrid rig, the GM 100 GT Hybrid, is completely unique.

“As far as we know, there are currently no equivalent hybrid drilling rigs operating in Norway or elsewhere in the world. It’s really exciting to be the first company to introduce an innovative rig like this”, says Baafjord.

Significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions

Multiconsult set the specification for the new hybrid rig, which has been supplied by the Finnish company Geomachine OY, through its service partner PTO Teknikk AS.

When the rig enters operation, it will run on electricity if there is a 400V/63A temporary power supply available on site. It can then be used for most kinds of soil sampling and soil penetration tests. When there is not an electricity supply, the motor will run on a biofuel like HVO 100 diesel, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 70-90 percent compared with using fossil fuel diesel.

“As a result, the rig will produce significantly lower on-site emissions compared with the equivalent rigs that are currently used”, says Baafjord. An additional benefit is that the rig will produce much less engine noise when running on electricity.

Setting the standard

No-one has previously specified or supplied a hybrid drilling rig of this kind. Multiconsult wanted to change that, and the company made clear its requirements to its supplier when it took the decision to purchase a new drilling rig.

“Our ambition is to put our industry on a more sustainable course. That includes challenging our suppliers to develop and offer sustainable solutions. The new hybrid rig is very much in line with that ambition, and we are very proud to be the first compsny to introduce this innovation”, says Therese Bodding Sæthre, who heads Multiconsult’s Geo, Water and Environment business unit.

To her there are clear synergies between the new hybrid rig and the requirement for a fossil fuel-free construction site being imposed by increasing numbers of clients and contractors. It also aligns with the requirements of the new climate action plan published by the Norwegian government this January.

“With the new rig, we are contributing to a new standard for more climate-friendly equipment on Norwegian construction sites. Zero emission construction sites is soon to be the industry norm, and this rig is one of the ways in which we can achieve that”, Sæthre says.