UK construction firm Laing O’Rourke has announced it is to replace red diesel in all its plant equipment with hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) before the end of the month.

Ground Engineering magazine reports that the move follows the completion of tests over the last six months, and will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the operation of plant machines, including excavators, cranes, piling rigs, dumper trucks and generators by up to 90 per cent.

Currently, the use of red diesel in plant equipment is the largest single source of the company’s direct emissions, comprising 39 per cent of the total.

The decision by Laing O’Rourke to switch to HVO will help support the delivery of the firm’s sustainability strategy and its commitment to reach net-zero by 2030.

A spokesperson said that the move is a positive step forward that will result in s significant reduction of the largest single source of 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.”

Laing O’Rourke regards HVO as a ‘transition fuel’ as it works towards a plant fleet that is entirely made up of electric and hydrogen-powered equipment.

The firm envisions having all its plant machinery powered by electricity or hydrogen by 2030, which while not possible at the moment, is expected that there will be a marked increase in the availability of electric and hydrogen plant equipment from manufacturers by 2025.

Laing O’Rourke will also ensure that any third-party plant equipment used on its project sites uses HVO rather than diesel.


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