Another World First for ULEMCo – Pointing the Way to Decarbonising Construction Sites

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ULEMCo has worked with Cementation Skanska to produce a piling rig that runs on a dual-fuel system. Both diesel and biofuels (HVO) can be mixed with hydrogen, resulting in a reduction in fuel use and lower CO2 emissions.

 In a trial at a London site for the HS2 high speed rail project, four piles 30-metre deep were installed using a hydrogen dual-fuel piling rig. This is believed to be the first time that hydrogen fuel has been used in a real-world application on a construction site, and points the way for the decarbonisation of construction sites.

 The trial was part of work done in partnership by HS2 and Cementation Skanska, working with the Business Research Establishment (BRE), and funded through the BEIS Phase 1 Red Diesel Replacement competition.

 Following the success of this real-world application, ULEMCo and Cementation Skanksa are looking at how this technology can be used more widely, reducing embodied carbon in construction and reducing impacts on local communities near construction sites.  


"HS2 is continuing to drive a positive change in the construction sector, and is providing an important environment to develop the real-world use of hydrogen energy technology. "The development of dual-fuel systems that can be used to adapt existing equipment so it can run off cleaner, low carbon energy sources could be a game changer across the construction sector."

Andrea Davidson, Head of Environmental Sciences, HS2 Ltd.

"The machines used in construction are owned and used for many years, so demonstrating a decarbonisation solution that utilises these existing assets is not only cost-effective but also important for sustainability."

Amanda Lyne, Managing Director, ULEMCo Ltd.

"Using this rig in a real-world environment to install piles on a commercial site is an exciting milestone. It follows the success of the simulated trials last year and is the next step towards rolling the technology out more widely. "This project goes beyond piling and ground engineering, it provides proof of concept for converting other types of heavy construction equipment, paving the way to construction site decarbonisation."

Terry Muckian, Managing Director, Cementation Skanska
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