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Primorje d.d., Slovenia’s largest general construction group, operates 35 Cat machines and undertakes major projects both in Slovenia and throughout Central Europe. Last year, needing to grade and pave an artificial lake under construction in the north-east of the country, Primorje turned to the local Cat® dealer Teknox Group for the most cost-effective solution.

Av??e Pumped-Storage Hydroelectric Powerplant consists of a two million cubic metre storage lake, connected via a two kilometre-long pipeline to a power station 550 metres below, alongside the So??e river. Water is pumped up to the lake at night when electricity prices are low and flows down to the power station’s turbine to generate electricity at times of peak demand.”

“The storage lake needed an asphalt lining due to the karst limestone terrain, which meant that the lake bed and sides, some 140,000 square metres, had to be precision graded. When conventional surveying methods are used this is a slow process and we needed to work quickly. We knew about Cat AccuGrade so we rented the system, mounted on a D6K track-type tractor from the Teknox Group, initially for a two-week trial.”

“After only a few hours of working with the system we realised that it was the ideal solution. Surveying and grading work on the 22 degree slope that would take a day using conventional methods took just a couple of hours with AccuGrade – even with an operator who had never used the system before. So we extended the rental period for another month. Using AccuGrade meant that we could release three people and a motor grader to work on other tasks and still we saved time and money, finishing the grading and paving in just four months instead of the scheduled six.”

The big question

Does Primorje see a place for AccuGrade in future operations? Group purchasing manager Miran Lavren??i?? supplies the answer: “We have been using Cat machines since 1965, so we know you can always rely on Caterpillar – the machines offer high quality and reliability. We are the first company in Slovenia to have used AccuGrade. We have already seen the advantages it brings for track-type tractors and we would like to test it with backhoe loaders, as well as with paver-finishers and compactors, which would surely be very interesting.”

“We are convinced that the system could find a place in a wide range of our larger civil engineering projects, especially where inclines are involved, where the quality of work currently depends totally on the operator’s skill. AccuGrade allows any competent operator to achieve outstanding results quickly and cost-effectively.”