Liebherr avoids producing for fracking market

21 April 2015

One of the world’s leading manufacturers of deep drilling machinery has adopted a policy of not producing equipment for the fracking industry.

Liebherr produces some of the most technically advanced machinery for drilling, boring and hammering deep foundations for the construction industry, including the new LRB 355 rig unveiled at the weekend.

However, the family-owned company has ruled out producing equipment for the fracking market, saying that the process runs counter to its “core values”.
Its stance is not based on an unwillingness to enter a new market, but on ethical and environmental grounds.

Liebherr has produced cranes specifically for the construction of nuclear power stations, coal-fired power stations and wind energy turbines. However Liebherr has taken a firm stand over the extraction of natural gas by hydraulic fracturing.

Fracking requires drilling to depths significantly deeper than anything a conventional foundation drilling machine can achieve, so nothing in Liebherr’s current product line-up is useful to frackers. The company has rebuffed enquiries from the sector.

Proponents of fracking insist that it is a safe and cost-efficient method of extracting natural gas. However, it remains controversial, with opponents citing threats of water contamination and seismic disturbances.


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