Costain takes aim at diesel consumption

Costain is exploring the use of alternative fuels in construction machinery on its site to reduce its diesel consumption.

It is also looking into how to exploit telematics technology that equipment manufacturers offer to monitor the productivity of vehicles and machinery.

The initiative is part of a research project funded by Innovate UK that Costain is undertaking in collaboration with the Centre of Excellence for Low Carbon & Fuel Cell Technologies (Cenex) and Edinburgh University.

Costain has found that, due to an increase in plant-intensive highways work, its diesel consumption has doubled in the past year, while all of its other ‘emission indices’ are falling.

Costain will be providing several construction projects as a testbed to understand current processes, engage plant suppliers and make recommendations. Options being explored include the use of alternative fuels and of telematics.

“The initial drive of the project is to develop an understanding of the cost-benefits of using telematics,” explained Costain’s group carbon manager, Damien Canning. “We can then use our findings to embed requirements into contracts with plant providers.”

Cenex was invited to join the study because of its work in finding low-carbon mobility solutions, said Chris Walsh, Cenex’s head of technical support and consultancy. “We’re looking at the potential for low-emission and zero-emission solutions to be employed on large construction sites.”