Construction company BAM and Motive Fuels have been awarded more than £350,000 of funding, as part of a government scheme to help the construction industry move away from red diesel.
The project – dubbed the H2Construction project – is one of 17 successful partnerships to be awarded funding through the Red Diesel Replacement competition, which falls under the Net Zero Innovation Portfolio.
The H2Construction project will see BAM work in partnership with Motive, BRE, CENEX, and PowerStar to develop a solution for producing green hydrogen that will provide zero carbon fuel to construction sites around the East of England as BAM works to decarbonise its construction operations, the company said in a statement earlier this week.
Funding will also be used for a feasibility study, which will examine past and current plant fuel consumption to a high level of granularity. It will cover a large portion of the UK’s plant usage and draw on insights from haulage firm L.Lynch, Flannery, and Machine Max.
BAM said that it hopes the project will enable it to produce accurate forecasts for red diesel and hydrogen fuel demand, which will allow it to select the best commercial projects to switch to hydrogen.
“The investment the UK government are making to deliver the Red Diesel Replacement scheme is a significant and positive step towards achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and gives the construction industry the ability to confidently invest in hydrogen and other low carbon technologies,” said Sarah Jolliffe, BAM’s Carbon Reduction lead.
If successful, the H2Construction project will pave the way for local production and distribution of green hydrogen for construction vehicles and plant machinery without the need for major grid electricity supply upgrades, the company said.
BAM said that as such the project is an important step towards its journey to net zero emissions, as it looks to identify a longer-term solution for tackling construction site emissions beyond the use of Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO), which was adopted across its projects in 2021.
While the use of HVO has already contributed towards a 3.4 kilo-tonne reduction in BAM’s carbon emissions, the company said it is now looking to explore the potential for even lower carbon and more sustainable solutions such as electrification and hydrogen powered machinery.
Once phase one of the feasibility study has been completed, BAM, in partnership with the H2Construction consortium has said it will apply for phase 2 funding, which could see is secure government-backing to demonstrate and deploy the technology.