UK Government grant paves the way for hydrogen-powered plant

BAM to lead cross-industry collaboration to drive forward hydrogen solution for site vehicles

London, 13 September 2023 - A new cross-industry initiative, led by BAM, will design and develop the use of hydrogen as an alternative to diesel on construction sites following the approval of a £4,872,653 grant from the UK Government’s Department for Energy Security and Net Zero.

UK Government grant paves the way for hydrogen-powered plant

The ‘Element One’ project will adapt and develop dual-fuel technology, converting a range of construction plant to operate using a hydrogen-fuelled generator.

The project will also develop a hydrogen manufacturing and supply chain, including off-site and on-site production, off-grid compression, and innovative storage and distribution solutions.

Starting this month and running for around two years, the project will provide practical solutions which can be demonstrated on an operational construction site for at least a month.

The project aims to reduce the construction industry’s reliance of fossil fuels and has brought together a variety of contractors and suppliers from across the sector.

BAM and Skanska will provide operating construction sites to demonstrate the solution, with GeoPura supplying hydrogen and a hydrogen powered generator. Reynolds Logistics will address hydrogen transport/logistics, NanoSUN will develop storage and onsite distribution capabilities while ULEMCo will adapt their dual fuel technology to convert plant provided by Flannery and Plantforce. Independent assessments and metrics will be supplied by BRE.

Colin Evison, Innovation Technical Lead for BAM, said: ‘The ‘Element One’ project has brought together a range of experts across the construction, plant and energy sectors to drive forward this transformational vision for the industry. The collaboration demonstrated between all project partners to date has been inspirational and we were absolutely delighted to be awarded the grant by Phase 2 of the Red Diesel Replacement Programme, funded through the £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio. As well as the technical ambition, the Element One project aims to address barriers to hydrogen production, supply and use including skills and training needs, health and safety and regulatory issues. The demonstration will support market assessment and business cases for investment and will measure and assess impacts on site productivity and emissions compared to conventional diesel plant. Ultimately, our aim is to shift hydrogen-powered plant use from being an experimental concept to creating practical solutions that allow implementation on busy construction sites. Importantly, all of our learnings will also be disseminated to wider industry.’