Japan’s largest Volvo excavator chosen for mega solar project in Fukushima

Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) has delivered an EC750EL excavator to help build a major solar power plant in Fukushima, Japan. It is the largest Volvo excavator ever sold in the country and is paired with an A45G articulated hauler to shape the project’s groundwork.

The EC750EL belongs to rental company EPR, which received an A45G articulated hauler simultaneously. Both machines are in operation at the huge construction site located in Fukushima City, Fukushima prefecture.

“This is a significant project for Volvo CE in Japan for many reasons,” said Shoji Isamu, Volvo CE’s head of market Japan. “In addition to using our largest Volvo excavator in Japan, EPR is pairing it with an A45G articulated hauler for optimum performance.

“Volvo CE articulated haulers have a solid reputation in Japan, but there is less understanding of the benefits to contractors of using them with Volvo excavators. The productivity of both machines has been excellent so far, and we believe other companies will take note.”

There are around 60 machines – including 10 from Volvo CE – at the construction site, which features steep, slippery and mountainous terrain. EPR has supplied all the machines on the job to its sister company EPS, the main contractor.

EPR has run a fleet of Volvo articulated haulers for many years. Its first investments were A25E and A40E units, and it subsequently progressed to A25F and A40F models, purchasing large numbers of both. Its positive experiences and latest purchase of an A45G prompted the company to look at Volvo excavators too.

This project covers 345 ha, of which almost 60 ha requires earthworks. The mega solar power development will eventually have an output of around 40 MW. Construction began in 2022 and will last almost five years. Over 130,000 solar panels of 450 W capacity are planned for installation.

Volvo CE’s involvement in the project aligns with its Science Based Targets (SBT) initiative. Since 2013, Japan has accelerated its investment in solar power, and the country’s focus on greater sustainability has seen an estimated 572 companies sign up for the SBTi programme.

“Volvo Construction Equipment’s advanced machinery has the technology and power to bring projects like these to life. We believe there will be opportunities to participate in similar initiatives in the future,” said Mr Isamu.