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JCB Excavator Installs Pipeline For Scottish Hydro Electric Scheme

Pictured is a JCB JS145 tracked excavator dragging a pipeline up hill as part of the construction of the Strath Tummell hydro electric power scheme near Kinloch Rannoch, in a remote part of Perthshire.

The machine was purchased by Chic Kippen & Sons, a Perth-based firm, which offers plant hire and contracting services to central and southern Scotland. It has a fleet of 15 predominantly JCB excavators ranging from 1.5 to 22 tonne models.

Traditionally working on groundworks and civil engineering projects - such as muck-shifting and deep drain preparation - the company has recently expanded to capitalise on the growing demand for renewable energy. It now also specialises in the construction of wind farms and hydro electric schemes which are becoming common in the region.

The JCB JS145 is shown working on a private hydro-electric scheme where water will be piped down hill from natural streams to turn turbines - with the electricity generated then sold to the National Grid. The excavator is shown dragging over a quarter of a mile of plastic and iron ductile piping towards the source stream at the top of the hill. Further down the hillside, at a welding station, 13-metre sections are added to the pipe. Ultimately, the pipe will channel water all the way from the stream down to the turbines ensuring a continuous flow of water keeps them turning.

The JS145 has been fitted with 1200mm tracks to reduce ground-bearing pressure for work on the peat based terrain.