In what is claimed to be a world-first, a Soilmec rotary and CFA piling rig has been retrofitted for dual-use.
Cementation will put the converted machine through its paces at its plant and fabrication facility at Bentley Works, south Yorkshire.
The Government-backed trial supported by hydrogen fuel pioneer ULEMCo and the BRE will also provide a proof of concept for converting other heavy on-site construction equipment.
Named ZECHER for ‘Zero Carbon Hydrogen Construction Equipment for Real-world use’, the project hopes to show that conversion to dual-fuel will save up to 50% CO2 in this duty cycle
Terry Muckian, managing director of Cementation Skanska, said: “We are exploring a range of innovations that will support us in decarbonising our operations, with a target of achieving net zero carbon by 2045.
“We have already done this with HVO (hydro-treated vegetable oil), with all our plant fleet including piling rigs running on this fuel since the beginning of 2022. Exploring the role that hydrogen could play in our future operation is of strategic importance to us.”
Ranjit Bassi of BRE. added: “The UK construction sector uses around 1bn litres of fuel annually, generating about 2.7m tonnes of CO2, and therefore finding ways to decarbonise the sector is critical to delivering the UK’s targets for net zero.”
“BRE’s role in the project is to look across the sector and to help accelerate the transition to clean fuels. Hydrogen looks to be one of the only currently viable routes to doing this in the available timescale.”