Over the past four decades, the exterior port at
Punta Langosteira near La Coruña, north-west
Spain, has experienced several maritime
disasters, which have given it the name ‘Costa da
Morte’ (death coast). The most recent in
November 2002 resulted in 70,000 tonnes of
fuel spilling into the sea, polluting an estimated
2,000km of coast line.
This year, a fleet of nine Hitachi EH1100
dump trucks and two EX1200 excavators owned
by sub-contractor Percasa are working on the
construction of a 3.2km sea wall to protect a
new port and cargo storage area. It is part of a
€300 million project funded by the European
Union and Spanish Government that will make
the port safer for ships to dock there.
The sea wall is due to be completed by the
end of 2010 and the port will be fully
operational in 2020. With 264 hectares of inland
water (equal to more than 100 football pitches) and 91
hectares of land, it will become one of the major ports in Spain.
The sea wall is being constructed with
concrete blocks, weighing between 25 and
150 tonnes, which are manufactured and
stored on the site. The materials used to
make the concrete blocks are sourced from
nearby granite quarries.
The quarries are also the source of lowerquality
aggregates being used to construct
the dock’s surface road and basin. Percasa is
responsible for the quarrying and transport
of these materials.
Technical engineer Jorge Sanchez Gonzalez
says: “On average, the Hitachi EX1200-6 loads
600m³ of sand and 300m³ of stones per hour.
Once fully loaded, the EH1000 dump trucks
travel a distance of approximately one
kilometre to either the concrete plant or the
sea wall.”
Supplied by Hitachi dealer Serex in 2009,
Percasa’s dump trucks are used for ten-and-ahalf
hours during the day and ten hours at
night. In summer, they are also used to load a floating GPS-controlled vessel that unloads material from the quarry directly into the
Founded 40 years ago, Percasa has used Hitachi
machinery since 2004, when it was persuaded by
Serex to try several large excavators, from the
ZX470 to EX1200 models, and two Hitachi dump
trucks. “At the time, Hitachi was relatively unknown
in Spain for construction equipment,” says Daniel
Rodriguez Garcia, Percasa Group Machinery
Manager. Today, the entire fleet consists of Hitachi
machinery: three EX1200s, six ZX870s, one ZX670,
five ZX470s, two ZX350s, and 32 dump trucks.
“Initially we tried five Hitachi excavators,
including the ZX870 and EX1200 models,” says
Rodriguez Garcia. “They proved to be more reliable
and capable of working longer than our existing
machines, so we replaced them. Since then, we have
had relatively few problems with Hitachi machinery,
compared to other brands. And the service from
Serex has been good, too.”