DSM’s Hyundai Heavyweights

August 18, 2023

As featured in Awesome Earthmovers magazine.

The coal powered Eggborough Power Station, once a landmark near the small town of Eggborough in North Yorkshire, England, closed its doors in 2018. The station had been a significant part of the area’s industrial landscape since it was built in the late 1960s and generated enough power to serve 2 million people. However, after years of operation, the facility had reached the end of its operational life and was deemed no longer suitable for continued use. The site was then purchased by St Francis Group in 2019, who revealed plans to demolish the power station and redevelop the area into industrial warehouses. Demolition and remediation of the site began in late 2019 and has been ongoing since.

Birmingham based DSM Demolition have been the main contractor on site since the commencement of demolition works. DSM has been a leading demolition contractor in the UK since its establishment in 1988. With a strong focus on quality, innovation, health, and safety. The family run company have built a reputation for providing bespoke solutions to clients in a wide range of sectors, including local authorities, government bodies, health trusts, utility companies, developers, and main contractors. They offer specialised services, including demolition, decommissioning, remediation, and other services, both nationally and internationally. DSM Demolition manages all aspects of the demolition process, including recycling, asbestos removal, waste disposal, and land reclamation, through a full in-house turnkey solution. The company is committed to client satisfaction, continually improving in areas such as safety, technical operations, environmental considerations, quality, service, and compliance with applicable regulations.

The process of demolishing Eggborough Power Station began in late 2019 with the clearing of materials from the coal yard, followed by asbestos removal and preparation of the towers for demolition. On 1 August 2021, four of the eight cooling towers were demolished as part of the site’s redevelopment, with the remaining four being demolished on 10 October 2021. The demolition of the coal bunker building, known as ‘Bunker Bay’, was carried out on 6 March 2022, followed by the dismantling of the turbine hall. In June 2022, a section of the boiler house, ‘DA Bay’, was demolished, and the final explosive demolition of the chimney stack and main boiler house occurred on 24 July 2022. Once all demolition works are completed, the former power station will become an industrial site known as ‘Core 62’.

Above ground demolition works are now transitioning to below ground earthworks with heavy foundations and slabs needing to removed and broken up. DSMs previous heavy hitters for this type of work have been a pair of Kobelco SK850-10s supplied by Bristol based Molson Group. According to Dan Kelly, General Manager of DSM Demolition, the company was preparing to transition from the demolition phase to the groundworks phase, which led them to consider updating their largest machinery. “The Kobelco excavators had been worked hard on this project,” commented Dan. “We like to have our machinery under warranty on such a demanding application.” This was one of the reasons why DSM made the decision to switch to a pair of new Hyundai HX900s. Stuart Butler Director of Sales at Molson Group adds “all the data and telematics shows the Kobelco SK850s had performed well, but as the project moved into the next phase, Dan and the team were open to a deal that worked for them to switch to fresh machines we had in stock. Dan Kelly comments “ With the next phase being earthworks we wanted to ensure that these machines were in the best position to meet the project’s demands. “ He adds, “the Kobelcos have been a great machine but it was time to change and Molson had two Hyundai HX900s immediately available.”

The two new 90 tonne HX900Ls come with a range of impressive specifications and features. The machines are equipped with Miller Groundbreaking quick couplers, allowing for efficient attachment changes. Molson Group, the distributor, has customized the excavators by fabricating special hinged walkways on the sides, facilitating easier configuration for transportation without the need for complete removal. Safety handrails on top of the machine and a Rock guard demolition cage provide added protection for the operators.

Stuart Butler, Sales Director at Molson Group, highlights the additional advantages of the Hyundai HX900s, stating, “The Hyundai has a slight edge over the Kobelco in handling  the 15-tonne Genesis GXT155R shears,” that weigh over 12 tonnes.

Transporting the Hyundai HX900s from Molson’s Avonmouth depot to Eggborough was handled by T.W. Bowler Heavy Haulage, covering a distance of 200 miles. Upon arrival, Mark Warburton, the operator of one of the HX900 excavators, was ready to put them to work. Having previously operated a Hyundai HX900 for ABLE UK, Mark was impressed with its power and performance, especially when compared to other excavators in the same weight class that he had previously operated

The Hyundai HX900L, weighing in at 90 tonnes, is equipped with a Scania DC16 084A engine boasting an impressive 478 kW of power. It is designed to handle bucket capacities ranging from 3.6 to 5.8m³. Notably, the HX900s address a previous issue by featuring dual pipes on the hammer and shear circuit, ensuring efficient hydraulic flow and preventing any potential problems when operating high-flow attachments.

According to Dan, the operators at the site have expressed a preference for the more modern cab of the Hyundai HX900 excavators, citing features such as Bluetooth connectivity, which was absent on the older dash 10 Kobelcos, although the newer dash 11  models boast comparable cab features to the Hyundai. Dans one complaint about both Hyundai and Kobelco is the absence of a 70-tonne class excavator in both Hyundai and Kobelco’s range of machines It’s an important class of machine for DSM, as it is easily transportable without removing the counterweight or stick.

Molson Group has supplied over 90 percent of DSMs fleet, with well over 100 machines and attachments coming from the dealer in the last 14 years from a small Dieci telehander to a Sennebogen scrap handler. “As Stuart Butler, Sales Director at Molson Group, puts it, ‘We have a 360 offering, supplying everything from excavators to crushers, telehandlers, wheel loaders, material handlers, and attachments.'” DSM have recently placed an order with Molson for a Kobelco SK210 hybrid excavator. Additionally, they have just taken delivery of four Kobelco SK300s. The site is also equipped with a 50-tonne Kobelco excavator, several Hyundai HX380 excavators, a Sennebogen scrap handler, and a Dieci telehandler, all supplied by Molson Group.

AEs visit to Eggborough power station coincided with the new Hyundais HX900s  being put to work on the demolition of the base of a former cooling tower, with one utilising a set of concrete pulverisers while the other machine moved processed concrete with it’s bucket. Industrial facilities such as power stations are notorious for being like icebergs, with more below ground than above. The Hyundais will certainly be tested to their limit breaking, pulverising and pulling the concrete foundations and slabs of Eggborough power station over the next 2 years.