hydrogen rig

First hydrogen dual-fuel piling rig in trials

The world’s first hydrogen dual-fuel piling rig is in trials, backed by Government funding.

ULEMCo, the hydrogen fuel pioneer, Cementation Skanska and the Building Research Establishment (BRE), are working together on the project.

They aim to produce and evaluate a dual-fuel hydrogen and diesel piling machine.

The project is backed by Government funding from Phase 1 of the Red Diesel Replacement programme.

The programme is part of the Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP) under the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

What is ZECHER?

ZECHER – ‘Zero Carbon Hydrogen Construction Equipment for Real-world use’ – will provide a proof of concept for converting on-site construction equipment and deliver the physical conversion of the rig.

Plus, the project will also explore the viability of hydrogen fuel for construction site decarbonisation. Cementation will put the converted machine through its paces at its plant and fabrication facility at Bentley Works, South Yorkshire.

Net zero carbon by 2045

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.”

Furthermore, 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.”

For more information click here.