Balfour Beatty has secured Scottish government funding for a trial programme to retrofit some of its vehicles to run off both hydrogen and diesel.
Known as dual fuel, it’s part of an effort to lessen the impact of carbon-intensive machines by reducing the amount of fossil fuels they consume.
The company has secured – and will match fund – over £240,000 from the Scottish government’s Emerging Energies Technology Fund’s Hydrogen Innovation Scheme (HIS); becoming the first construction company to be so funded.
The funding will allow Balfour Beatty to retrofit two gritters and two operations and maintenance vehicles. Once retrofitted, the vehicles will be trialled on the Connect Roads M77/Glasgow Southern Orbital project.
The trial is expected to deliver a 40% reduction in carbon emissions from each of the four retrofitted vehicles, with the aim of providing a blueprint for the conversion of all Balfour Beatty’s owned fleet in the future.
Hector MacAulay MBE, Balfour Beatty’s regional managing director of Scotland, said: “Reducing emissions from plant on sites is a key challenge faced by the entire construction and infrastructure industry. It is a challenge that must be faced collectively if we are to drive down our emissions and play our part in reaching the Scottish Government’s net zero by 2045 target.
“Whilst electric solutions are starting to enter the market, they are not yet a realistic option for heavy plant. Dual fuel represents an alternative solution, and we are looking forward to seeing the benefits that this trial will deliver, as we look to develop a practical solution for our industry, alongside the Scottish Government.”
According to Holyrood, over £7m of HIS grant funding has been allocated to 32 projects seeking to support the development of the hydrogen economy in Scotland.
The Scottish Government said: “The projects supported through this funding call will progress innovative solutions to address and overcome key challenges related to scaling up hydrogen production, storage, and distribution.
“The awarded funding will also enable the development of hydrogen innovation centres across Scotland that will act as hubs of ongoing hydrogen innovation activity, providing facilities that will support skills development and the incubation and development of hydrogen technologies across the value chain; Balfour Beatty’s project is a prime example of this activity.”
Are you a building professional? Sign up for a FREE MEMBERSHIP to upload news stories, post job vacancies, and connect with colleagues on our secure social feed.