Volvo EC210Ds carry out volcano protection work in the Philippines

Volvo EC210D excavators are currently working near the Mayon volcano in the Philippines. The heavy-duty machines are building spillways to direct lava, debris and rain away from populated areas, while simultaneously preserving valuable aggregate resources.

The Mayon volcano, located close to the city of Legazpi, is one of the most active volcanoes in the Philippines. While volcano soil is extremely fertile for farming, lava flows are always a hazard. Moreover, the wet season from July to December also poses challenges with the large volume of rainwater and debris it brings from the volcano.

To alleviate this, the local government is financing construction of a network of spillways around the volcano, to direct the flow of rain, debris and lava. At one of these spillways – at the foot of the volcano - Sunwest Construction and Development Corporation is using four Volvo EC210D excavators to manage the construction work. The machines are working around 10 hours a day, removing earth, preparing the ground for foundations, and working with pile hammers to drive steel sheet piles. 

“The fear of an eruption is always present among the villagers and they are really grateful that these spillways are being constructed,” said Joel Banzuela, project foreman at Sunwest Construction and Development Corporation.

The project is approximately 5 km long and is expected to be completed in 2019. In addition to diverting rainwater and lava from the villages, the spillways will preserve the sand and stone that erupt from inside Mayon. The high-quality volcano aggregate is collected and sold onwards to local construction industries.

“It doesn’t matter how tough the job, the EC210D always delivers power, performance and reliability,” said Noli Espartinez, operations manager at Sunwest Resources. “They are also really versatile and with great swing speed and stability.”

Apart from buckets and pile sheet hammers, the EC210D can also be fitted with a selection of hydraulic breakers. The machine features a Volvo D5E engine, which combines with the machine’s excellent hydraulics to provide high torque at low rpm for superior performance and fuel efficiency. It is also equipped with five different work modes: Idle, Fine, General, Heavy and Power Max.

“We like that the EC210D offers a variety of attachments to support different applications. This is important for us as we can use the machine on a wider range of projects,” said Mr Espartinez.

Volvo’s distribution partner in the Philippines, Civic Merchandising, recently opened a service branch in Legazpi to provide service for Sunwest and other Volvo customers in the region. Today, Sunwest has more than 80 units of the Volvo EC210D in its fleet, plus a large number of other Volvo machines, including the new EC200D.

“We benefit hugely from Civic’s strong presence in Legazpi,” said Mr Espartinez. “Their local team is extremely helpful and always provide fast and good support when needed.”