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Hitachi

Social Innovation

  • Urban Development
  • Analytics

Heading toward significant economic growth, the natural resource rich nation of Qatar is constructing three container terminals on the outskirts of its capital, Doha. The terminals will have an annual capacity of over 6 million containers. The new port basin has to be approximately 3.8 kilometers in length, 700 meters wide and 17 meters deep. This massive excavation project was awarded to the Belgium firm Gulf Earth Moving (GEM). GEM will excavate over 30 million cubic meters of granular material using Hitachi’s construction machinery, making this one of the largest greenfield port development projects in the world.

Overview

  • Challenge
    With tight deadlines, 24/7 operations in a harsh climate, the equipment needed to be adaptable and functional. The excavators had to be dismantled, shipped and reassembled onsite by a team of engineers as well as maintained throughout the build to assure constant operation.
  • Solution
    The Hitachi EX1900 – 6 was chosen for the job due its high production, low fuel consumption, optimal functionality, and customization such as the specialized bucket to work in conjunction with the huge break force of the machine.
  • Result
    Hitachi’s site specific solutions helped accomplish the moving of 30 million cubic meters of hard rock and sand. The reliability of Hitachi’s global supply chain solved issues of breakdown, helping to guarantee the seamless progress of the new port.

Challenge

Overcoming harsh working conditions and assuring performance

Doha has an extraordinary geology and unique location with hard limestone mixed with a soft sand. On top of this the region has one of the most extreme climates with temperatures soaring to as high as 50 degrees centigrade. These two factors created the main challenge of this modern port project.

We came here in 2012, first started the job with the access channel. Then we achieved the second part and that is the naval base. And now we are facing the excavation of approximately 30 million cubic meters with Hitachi.

Ton De Kroon
Project manager
Gulf Earth Moving WLL (GEM)

The build site is vast, and the only way to overcome the immense scope of the three container terminal was to break construction down into phases, laying out work milestones that need to be achieved.

The challenge we have is to mobilize this machine. After we send it from Japan to the Doha port, we have to use more than ten trailers to move it to the site, and then we have about 2 weeks to assemble 2 machines, so this was our challenge.

Hidefumi Sameshima
President, Hitachi Construction Machinery
Middle East Corporation FZE .

Before the earth moving could start, the excavators had to be dismantled, shipped and reassembled, all within 2 weeks of the cargo arriving. Once the machines were operational, a 24/7 work schedule was adopted to meet the tight deadlines. Work was able continued through the high temperatures and humidity as every equipment was fitted with robust air-conditioning units.

The materials that we have to excavate here are sand to very hard limestone, and for this hard material we are using the heavy forces of the Hitachi equipment to break out the heavy rocks.

Koen Adriaensen
Works Manager
Gulf Earth Moving WLL (GEM)

In the high heat and humidity it was of the utmost importance to keep the machines running and to protect workers from this unforgiving climate.

The climate is one of the most challenging aspects in the Middle East, especially during summer. The temperature, humidity and walking under the open sun in open areas is of course a challenge.

Ramzi Tumallah
Deputy General Manager
Product Support Department
Hitachi Construction Machinery Middle East Corporation FZE

A scheduled maintenance program for the excavators kept work running smoothly. This program required reliable dealership assistance for quick repairs and replacements of machine parts when needed, assuring efficient and effective operation.

Our hardest job I would say is to maintain the construction machinery and keep it working at the job site, because the machine is working in harsh conditions in this region. Our products are reliable machines. However we have to serve them 24/7.

Piet Hein van Bakergem
General Manager, Sales & Marketing
Product Support Department
Hitachi Construction Machinery Middle East Corporation FZE

Solution

Beating the odds with effective machinery, customized attachments and great teamwork

The EX1900-6 is one of the most intuitive excavators in the market today. It allows the operator to focus on the job while staying in complete control of the machine. The EX1900 – 6 was used by Gulf Earth Moving, fitted with a customized bucket to tackle the hard limestone rocks that had to be excavated at the site.

We chose these particular Hitachi machines due to their huge break force, they have been fitted with a customized bucket and we use this to break out the hard stones. That is the benefit of using Hitachi.

Ton De Kroon
Project manager
Gulf Earth Moving WLL (GEM)

The Hitachi is one of the easiest machines to operate and control. It also provides smooth operation for the operators. While sitting in the cabin you do not feel like you are driving this huge excavator. That is why Hitachi is considered one of the top worldwide players in mining equipment.

Ishaq Abu Alia
Service Manager
Arabian Supply Center WLL (ASC)

To overcome the extreme heat, the Hitachi EX1900-6 has an isolated air conditioned cabin for operator comfort.

The assembly of the Hitachi EX1900-6 required communication between the dealer and client, utilizing a crew of assembly staff, engineers and product specialists. Everything had to be put together in a short amount of time. This required the GEM mechanics to know the machine and assist the Hitachi dealers during the assembly. As a team, the 2 Hitachi EX1900-6 machines were assembled and prepared on time.

We have experience with the heavy excavator equipment of Hitachi. We learned a lot about the production, about the machines and about the different attachments, because in the job we are doing here, not only the excavator important but also the attachments. This will help us in the future with these big projects and hard materials.

Koen Adriaensen
Works Manager
Gulf Earth Moving WLL (GEM)

Other than the special excavation equipment, the Hitachi EX1900-6 was also customized with site-specific attachments that were designed specifically to ensure optimal functionality and maximize effectiveness in the harsh weather.

After sales support for such projects is perhaps more important than the sale itself. The guarantee of operation without any complications is very important to contractors.

Piet Hein van Bakergem
General Manager, Sales & Marketing
Product Support Department
Hitachi Construction Machinery Middle East Corporation FZE

Ultimately, it was the excellent teamwork between the dealers and the mechanics in combination with the efficiency of the Hitachi engineers that got the excavator operational and running smoothly in no time.

Ensuring excellent dealer – client relations, Hitachi also provided an unparalleled 24/7 after sales service to support Gulf Earth Moving. This assistance aided in meeting all project deadlines.

Result

A global achievement and the rise of new opportunities

By effectively working together in one of the most demanding and difficult earth moving sites in the world, Hitachi and Gulf Earth Moving have helped open new economic opportunities for Qatar in the Arabian Gulf.

All of the site-specific solutions, along with the unrivalled reliability of Hitachi’s global supply chain guaranteed that production of the New Doha Port went uninterrupted. The customized bucket helped excavate hard limestone rocks, moving 30 million cubic meters of gravel in the allotted time.

Founded in 2012, as a subsidiary of the Belgian Aertssen Group, Gulf Earth Moving (GEM) WLL is based in Qatar, and specializes in large scale earth moving and maritime projects in the GCC. GEM’s area of expertise includes large earth moving, rock excavation, aggregate crushing, coastal protection installation, soil compaction and heavy lifting.

At this moment we are looking at a lot of other projects in Qatar as we have a lot of big equipment now and are tendering for other tenders. So the idea from GEM is that we will stay in the region, in Qatar and in the Middle East, and maybe further on, you know with this kind of equipment and the production that we achieved with Hitachi over here, maybe we can go worldwide.

Koen Adriaensen
Works Manager
Gulf Earth Moving WLL (GEM)

The Hitachi Construction Machinery Middle East Corporation FZE (HMEC) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi Construction Machinery Co., Ltd. Japan and provides heavy equipment products, like excavators, wheel loaders, dump trucks, cranes and foundation machines that support mining, earth moving, construction, quarry and forestry industries throughout the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA).
HMEC aims to satisfy the customer needs by guaranteeing efficiency and quality, helping customers complete their jobs safely, ecologically and productively. All the Hitachi products are known for reliability, performance and cost efficiency in their specific applications and guarantee quality assurance as per international standards. Sales and product support are also available through the company’s strategically placed network of branches and dealers.

Solutions By: Hitachi Construction Machinery Middle East Corporation FZE