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Komatsu donates HB215LC-1 Hybrid Excavator to International Polar Foundation

VILVOORDE/BELGIUM, January 14, 2014 – Komatsu Europe International announces the donation of a new HB215LC-1 hybrid excavator to the International Polar Foundation. BIA n.v., the official Komatsu distributor for Belgium, provided free attachments for the machine, which will be transported by sea to Antarctica, to work at the Princess Elisabeth Station.

On November 27, a short “handover” ceremony in Fleurus, Belgium, was attended by
Keiko Fujiwara, Komatsu Europe CEO and Managing Director, as well as by several other BIA and Komatsu top managers and by representatives from the International Polar Foundation.
The Komatsu HB215LC-1 hydraulic excavator is a second generation hybrid machine fitted with cutting-edge Komatsu technology. It boasts an average of 25% less fuel consumption and CO2 emissions than a traditional excavator. The hybrid machine donated to the Polar Foundation was prepared and equipped for work at the Princess Elisabeth Station by BIA at their facility in Fleurus, Belgium. The technical manager of the station and the operator of the excavator both received technical and practical

the HB215LC-1 Hybrid Excavator donated to International Polar Foundation by Komatsu

From left to right – Mr Andreas Wagner– CEO International Polar Foundation, Ms Keiko Fujiwara, Managing Director and CEO of Komatsu Europe International, Mr Raf Cools-BIA, General Manager Benelux. | pic: Komatsu

On December 2, the hybrid excavator was loaded on the “Mary Antarctica” at the port of Zeebrugge in Belgium. The ship is scheduled to reach its destination in Antarctica on January 15 2014, after a stopover on December 21 in Cape Town, South Africa. The HB215LC-1 machine will then be transported to the Princess Elisabeth Station, approximately 240km away.

The International Polar Foundation was founded in 2002 by Belgian polar explorer Alain Hubert, Prof. Hugo Decleir and Prof. André Berger and seeks to bring about a keener appreciation of the role of science, particularly research in the Polar Regions. It supports polar scientific research for the advancement of knowledge, the promotion of informed action on climate change, and the development of a sustainable society.

The International Polar Foundation partners with corporations and institutions both on
specific projects, or to implement its mission of supporting science in the polar regions, meeting the climate challenge and achieving a low carbon society.
The Princess Elisabeth station in Antarctica is the only zero emission base on the Antarctic, and runs entirely on solar and wind energy through the use of a micro smartgrid. It is located on Utsteinen Nunatak in Queen Maud Land (71.57°S 23.20°E). The base is a Belgian scientific polar research station, and went into service on February 15, 2009. The station, designed, built and operated by the International Polar Foundation, is the first polar base that combines eco-friendly construction materials, clean and efficient energy use, optimization of the station's energy consumption and clever waste management techniques.

The station is built against the Utsteinen ridge that is exposed to gales of up to 300 km/h. It can withstand such strong winds through its aerodynamic shape and its foundation anchoring of several metres deep into the permafrost. The station is connected to nine wind turbines that stretch out along the ridge. The upper deck of the building is the actual station, which can house up to 16 scientists at a time. The lower deck contains a garage for snowcat vehicles and other utilities.