Laing O’Rourke switches 100% to HVO

By Alex Dahm31 January 2022

Rear three quarter view of red and white crawler crane with boom down Liebherr LR 1160.1 crawler crane in the Select Plant fleet. Its diesel engine will be running on HVO by the end of March 2022

UK construction contractor Laing O’Rourke said it will switch from diesel to hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) for all its UK equipment by the end of March 2022.

Exhaust emissions from its equipment fleet will be reduced by up to 90 per cent, the company said.

The move follows six months of testing by the company divisions Select Plant Hire and Explore Plant and Equipment. Equipment being switched over includes cranes, excavators, piling rigs, dumpers and generators.

Burning red diesel in its fleet of construction equipment is the company’s largest single source of direct emissions, comprising 39 % of the total.

Commenting on the move, Alex Warrington, Select Plant Hire UK managing director, said, “This is a positive step forward and will result in a substantial reduction in the largest single source of our direct emissions. While it would be more straightforward to switch to white diesel, we believe it’s important we take the necessary actions to meet our 2030 operational net zero deadline.”

HVO will be used in the interim while the company works on getting a fleet powered by electricity and hydrogen.

“Our vision is to have all our plant powered by electricity or hydrogen by 2030. This is not possible right now, but from 2025 we expect to see a marked increase in the availability of electric and hydrogen plant equipment from manufacturers, and from then we will start to replace the HVO powered plant in our fleet,” added Warrington. In the first quarter of 2021 Select Plant Hire took delivery of electric crawler cranes from Liebherr-Werk Nenzing in Austria.

Laing O’Rourke said any third-party plant equipment used on its sites will also use HVO instead of conventional diesel.

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