ALBERTA – With fanfare befitting a dignitary, NORTH AMERICAN CONSTRUCTION GROUP commissioned Canada’s (and the world’s) second HITACHI EX8000 hydraulic shovel. Hitachi’s newest and largest shovel has gone to work removing overburden from the Horizon oil sands mine north of Fort McMurray. The US$8.0-billion development is being readied for production in 2008 by CANADIAN NATURAL RESOURCES of Calgary.
The commissioning ceremony was held in April 2006 and marked the kick-off of the EX8000 as a production machine. People who attended the ceremony got to see the machine do what it does best: quickly and efficiently move mind-numbing volumes of material. Working from a below-grade location, the shovel put every bit of its 40-m bucket capacity to work, filling a steady stream of EH5000 haul trucks in four quick, efficient passes. A short demonstration of its impressive manoeuvrability (an ability that belies its mammoth size) wrapped up the demonstration.
The celebration at the Horizon project also marked the official opening of North American’s 4,830.8-m maintenance facility. Truly massive in scale to accommodate the huge equipment on site, the facility boasts high ceilings, a five-port, high-pressure wash area, a spacious welding area, and overhead cranes capable of 50-t lifts.
North American Construction (www.NACG.ca) has already purchased a second EX8000 to be delivered later this year.
Readers fluent in Japanese may want to peruse “Road to Canada: EX8000” at www.Hitachi-Kenki.co.jp/products/excavator/loading/ex8000_reports/030421_09.html.