OEMs call for fresh PMV regulations in Middle East

JCB, Cat, and Case call for tighter PMV regulations in the Middle East

Tier 4 technology took centre stage at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2014.
Tier 4 technology took centre stage at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2014.

Senior figures from some of the largest original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have told CW that regulatory reform would benefit the Middle East’s construction sector.

High-ranking staff members from JCB, Caterpillar, and Case Construction Equipment contend that both manufacturers and end users across the region stand to gain from a move towards the latest Tier 4 engine technology.

“When you’re putting two different machines onto the assembly line – in terms of Tier 3 and Tier 4 – you don’t always reap the benefits associated with economies of scale,” said Chris Giorgianni, JCB’s vice president for parts and service. “However, the ability to introduce Tier 4 technology to a particular region is also dependent on fuel quality. It would be nice to sell more Tier 4 machines worldwide, but the fuel quality is not there to support the engine. This is one of the major challenges.”

Tier 4 engine technology took centre stage at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2014. Driven by legislation in the United States, Europe, and Japan, this latest generation of engines offers lower nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) emissions. However, due to a lack of regulation and inferior fuel quality, these engines are unlikely to reach the Middle East any time soon.

Giorgianni told CW that a transition towards fuel that is compatible with the latest technology would benefit the region’s construction sector in the longer term.

“Years ago, the United States made the move to ultra-low-sulphur diesel (ULSD),” he explained. “Initially, this was available to on-highway vehicles, but it’s now accessible to off-highway machines as well. I think that overall, a move in this direction would definitely be beneficial for other territories. It would result in a one-stop shop for machines, rather than multiple variants.

“Here in the US, the EPA recognises that significant numbers of premature deaths can be avoided with the enactment of these regulations,” Giorgianni added. “There are also, therefore, major benefits in terms of human health.”

Caterpillar chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman is also committed to a sustainable global construction sector. As he explained, OEMs must encourage governments in unregulated markets to narrow the gap between themselves and their Western counterparts.

“What we’ve been trying to do for some time is to look towards those areas that are not headed for Tier 4 in the future, and not talking about Tier 4, and to get them to use low-sulphur diesel fuel,” he told CW. “That is really the driver of Tier 4. In the meantime, we’re going to try to influence those governments to bring these requirements sooner. It’s better for the environment, it’s better for all of us, and it’s certainly better for our industry. There will be a fair amount of the world five years from now that is still not at Tier 4 levels, but I think we have to keep plugging away to get our message out.”

Meanwhile, Case Construction Equipment’s senior director for sales in Africa and the Middle East Franco Invernizzi pointed out that whilst he is fully in favour of Tier 4 technology, it would be wise for policy makers in regulated regions to offer some breathing space before moving onto the next stage.

“What I would like, in an ideal world, is a break before moving to Tier 5,” Invernizzi explained. “This would not only allow manufacturers to innovate in other areas, but it would also allow for the introduction of new legislation in non-regulated regions. It would provide countries with the time that they need to reduce the gap between themselves and Tier 4 Final countries.”

For full, in-depth analysis of the benefits that could result from regulatory reform in the Middle East, check out the April 2014 issue of PMV Middle East.

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