BAM adopts recycled cooking oil fuel for plant

BAM employees (l-r) Dougie Grant , Katie Airey, and Andy Brown

BAM will run all of its UK construction machinery using recycled cooking oil, as part of a bid to reduce the group’s carbon emissions.

The machines will run on hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO), a renewable fuel derived from waste products, provided by Crown Oil under a new contract.

The fuel currently costs around 15% more than red diesel, but reduces net CO2 emissions by as much as 90%.

But BAM said it only considered HVO as a “stepping stone” to eliminating all internal combustion engines and opt for alternatives powered by batteries or hydrogen fuel cells.

In 2020, BAM’s red diesel consumption, which was around 7m litres, accounted for around 70% of its total direct carbon footprint.

Other measures include the phasing out of diesel generators and increasing use of alternative solutions such as photovoltaic cells to generate power at sites, the roll-out of electric vehicles to all levels of the employee fleet, and the increasing use of low-carbon materials, such as low-cement concrete, in the design, construction and management of buildings.

BAM said it would also encourage its supply chain partners to use low carbon fuels and diesel alternatives.

Sarah Jolliffe, carbon reduction lead, BAM Nuttall said: “HVO fuel has been available for several years, but it is only in the last 12-18 months that this fuel has been approved by plant and engine manufacturers for use in their equipment. 

“HVO differs from gas oil, diesel and petrol as it isn’t derived from crude oil, the main cause of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide. HVO is made through the hydrotreatment of pre-existing bio-waste products such as used cooking oil, waste plant and organic matter.”

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