The Mayon volcano near the city of Legazpi is one of the most active volcanoes in the Philippines. While volcano soil is extremely fertile for farming, lava flows are always a hazard. In addition, the wet season from July to December also poses challenges with the high volume of rainwater and debris it brings from the volcano.
To alleviate this, the local government is financing construction of a network of spillways around the volcano, to direct the flow of rain, debris and lava.
“The fear of an eruption is always present among the villagers and they are really grateful that these spillways are being constructed,” says Joel Banzuela, project foreman at regional contracting giant Sunwest Construction and Development Corporation.
At one of these spillways at the foot of the volcano, Sunwest is using four Volvo EC210D excavators to manage the construction work. The machines are working around 10 hours a day, removing earth, preparing the ground for foundations and working with pile hammers to drive steel sheet piles.
This particular Legazpi spillway project is around 5 km long and is expected to be completed in 2019. In addition to diverting rainwater and lava from the villages, the spillways will also preserve the sand and stone that erupt from inside Mayon. The high quality volcano aggregate is collected and sold onwards to local construction industries.
“It doesn’t matter how tough the job, the EC210D always delivers power, performance and reliability,” says Noli Espartinez, operations manager at Sunwest Resources. “They are also really versatile and with great swing speed and stability.”
“We like that the EC210D offers a variety of attachments to support different applications. This is important for us as we can use the machine on a wider range of projects,” Espartinez says.
Sunwest today has more than 80 units of the Volvo EC210D in their fleet alongside with a large number of other Volvo machines, including the new EC200D.
Service and support is never far away. Volvo´s distribution partner in the Philippines, Civic Merchandising, recently opened a service branch in Legazpi, to provide top-class service for Sunwest and other Volvo customers in the region.
“We benefit hugely from Civic´s strong presence in Legazpi,” Espartinez says. “Their local team is extremely helpful and always provide fast and good support when needed.”
The EC210D has a Volvo D5E engine, which combines with the machine’s proven hydraulics to provide high torque at low rpm for superior performance and fuel efficiency. It is also equipped with five different work modes: Idle, Fine, General, Heavy and Power Max.
“Our operators enjoy working in the EC210D. It’s not only comfortable but offers features that increase productivity and make it easy to operate,” Banzuela says.