Since it first started operations in 2008, Ecoplant has been Ireland’s only dedicated battery- and electric-powered plant hire company. It is committed to meeting all of its customers’ requirements for green, clean, zero-emission, compact and low-noise machines.
The Ecoplant Story
By the time he set up Ecoplant, Sean Breen, founder and Managing Director, had accumulated extensive engineering experience in core cutting, cement and construction operations at home and abroad. His on-the-ground experience of construction sites informed many of the design decisions for the machinery and plant that Ecoplant offers.
Sean Breen’s vision for the company was to leverage the increasing interest in green construction and develop green products that deliver without compromising on power and robustness. In recent years, many plant and project managers have begun to see electric- and battery-powered plant as a low hanging fruit in the sustainable construction mix and a more efficient and practical alternative to traditionally-fuelled plant.
Customised plant solutions
Ecoplant’s service teams can develop customised plant solutions to meet each client’s specific needs, in addition to offering a comprehensive aftercare service.
Ecoplant’s substantial fleet of the latest battery- and electric-powered plant and machinery is perfect for all types of demolition and construction projects across the construction, tech and pharma sectors.
The full range of plant includes the ED dumper range, battery and electric excavators, robotic machines with breakers, road/wall/floor saws, trench compactors, generators, electric telehandlers, pokers, power floats, conveyors, forklifts, and up to 4.5T robotic demolition machines.
As Ecoplant manufactures some of the products that it supplies, it is ideally placed to analyse user experience and add additional features if required to meet customers’ evolving needs.
“We have designed enhancements and improvements to commercially available excavators, improving power and user operation and delivering reliable improvements and user operability,” explains Sean Breen.
“Our sister company Ecovolve created an energy-efficient battery-powered dump truck and loader range that leads the way in delivering robust, low maintenance, zero emissions construction machinery. Our global distribution network now stretches from ANZ, through the Middle East, the EU and the UK and into the US, Canada and Latin America markets.”
Sean Breen cites the example of the company’s Robotic Descale Arm as an early innovation that he developed to address a health and safety challenge for the cement manufacturing industry.
“The Robotic Descale Arm is a product we developed for cement production plants in the noughties. This tool is used to descale and demolish refractory and brick inside preheater towers remotely. With its remote capabilities, the Robotic Arm Descale Tool works outside the risk zone. This system and method are suitable in various industries where build-up occurs due to raw material processing. It decreases plant closure times and increases productivity, saving time and money.”
Sean Breen adds that the Ecoplant range is exceptionally robust compared to traditional plant and equipment.
“It is more powerful than traditional plant while being quieter, and, of course, it has no emissions. We only stock plant that does not need on-site fuel and can work a full day once charged.”
Green, Clean and Silent
In short, Sean Breen describes the Ecoplant range as “Green, clean, zero-emission, low-noise specialised plant that can meet any on-site challenge. This is borne out by years of experience of working and using the plant. It is also ergonomically efficient and operator friendly.”
Ecoplant’s customer list includes all of the leading contractors; Sisk, BAM Ireland, John Paul, Hegarty Demolition, and many smaller contractors and specialists requiring plant.
Sean Breen adds, “Using our many years of experience and expert knowledge, our team consults with our clients regarding their specific jobs to ensure that they avail of the best combination of plant to meet the new environmental regulations. Whether it’s on hire from Ecoplant or another supplier, the relationship we build is based on what’s best for the project and what’s the most environmentally-friendly solution.
“Plus, the reduction in labour costs, the costs of PPE related to those labour hours and the greening of our clients’ projects is something we can give impartial advice on. This is something that delivers for our clients’ environmental commitments.”
Sean Breen says that the plant Ecoplant offers several other distinct advantages over traditional combustion-powered plant.
“Our plant speeds up the completion of projects. Zero emissions reduce the carbon footprint of any build. And, because the equipment is quiet, there is no noise pollution, so in many cases, sites in built-up areas can have extended hours of operation.”
He continues, “The plant also ticks the health and safety box on many levels, including the fact that there is no requirement for flammable fuel stores on site. This also makes sites less attractive for thieves and deals with the whole area of mishandling of fuels.
“The reliability of the plant is also far higher, and therefore servicing is much less and that the plant facilitates better on-site communications.
“Our corporate commitment to a more sustainable business includes a fleet of 100% electric EV delivery and support vans, our off-grid recharging of equipment, both in place and planned, while all of our local staff use e-bikes or walk to work. We will also be a fully carbon-neutral company by 2025.”
Better on-site communications
“An important point is that you can hear your colleagues when working these machines, so information flow is easier. We’ve had many machines on pharma construction projects across the most recent period. These projects are moving to zero emissions equipment, as noise and fumes are increasingly not being allowed in production environments.”
Sean Breen states that his company’s plant facilitates reductions in job completion timeframes and, as a result, brings follow-on reductions in project costs.
“Our products enable faster job completion, bring reduced fuel costs, increased operator safety, with reduced emissions overall and a greater margin for contractors.”
A Green Construction Future
Ecoplant is currently expanding its fleet. A new range of telehandlers were recently delivered, with one of the new telehandlers going straight out the door to a pharma project.
“Our diggers are all going very well at the moment,” Sean Breen explains, “and we have new rollers in the pipeline for later this year. Planned and controlled expansion is how we’ve grown the business over the past few years, as we work to ensure that we have what our customers need when they need it.
Health and safety
Health and safety is the priority on all sites. As we move forward from the Covid-19 shutdowns, we all know that sites will operate differently. Health and safety and the drive for greater efficiency will mean that there will be fewer people on site. Many contractors have also made substantial inroads into reducing their carbon footprint. So, as standards improve, so too will the quality of the plant used on all sites.
“Ecoplant consults and advises on what is best practice and most efficient for our clients’ projects and jobs, we advise on what is the best combination of equipment to complete the project quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively,” Sean Breen comments.
He adds that Ecoplant is already part of the Irish construction green revolution and is making the industry a safer, more attractive place for young people to build a career.
“Having worked in construction, I also know that one of the biggest on-site enemies is unnecessary noise. Look at how quiet tower cranes always have been. This level of operator comfort needs to be delivered on the ground and electrically powered equipment, as well as being more powerful in many instances, is much nicer to work around.”
Sean Breen concludes by saying that robotic construction equipment has grown in popularity over the past few years, and this will continue.
“Ecoplant is ideally placed to meet its customers’ plant needs. A growing number of our machines are robotic and facilitate safer operations in hostile environments, with operators controlling equipment remotely away from risk areas. We have been providing this equipment to clients for over a decade now, and are very experienced in this specialist area. We look forward to seeing this area grow in the coming years and bringing our customers innovative and safe robotic plant solutions to meet their construction needs.”
Ecoplant offers full pre-hire training where applicable. It has delivery/collection options from all sites and on-site and off-site support 24/7. In addition, it has an extensive range of back-up equipment available for when unplanned events require fast solutions.
Ecovolve – High tip zero emissions dumper trucks
Its innovative electric dumper range (ED800, ED1000 and ED1500) is versatile, robust, and carries up to 1.5T, and it is capable of operating both indoors and out.
Ecovolve commenced operations in 2010. It has developed a range of CE certified high-tipped dumpers and other products, which it started to release onto the market in 2015.
ED range of dumpers
The largest of the ED range of dumpers is the ED1500, carrying 1.5T. This is less than 1.2 metres/47 inches wide with a turning circle of just 1.6 metres/63 inches. All of the Ecovolve electric dumper range has been designed with tight spaces in mind. The dumper’s battery pack provides power for a typical full working day on an overnight charge.
The dumper is perfect for use where noise levels must be kept low, while its compact size and turning circle means that the ED can go where others can’t.
Robotic Descale Arm
Ecovolve’s Robotic Descale Arm systems are used in cement-production plant downtime maintenance programmes worldwide.
Ecovolve products are available across the EU, the UK, North and South America, the Middle East, and Australia/New Zealand (ANZ).