HomeOperationsEnvironmentCarbon-cutting retrofit makes machinery greener and more cost effective

Carbon-cutting retrofit makes machinery greener and more cost effective


A carbon-cutting solution for plant and machinery has been given certification by the Energy Saving Trust in its latest trial – and those behind it hope it will create a greater legacy of pollution reduction for the construction industry.

The solution adds exhaust technology to existing systems to upgrade plant machinery to the EU Stage V engine class. Developed by Eminox, the technology is said to be key to HS2 and its industry partners reducing particulate and NOx emissions and embodied carbon, whilst saving the cost of scrapping and replacing plant vehicles.

The trial, for large engines, was carried out by Emissions Analytics and Imperial College London (Centre for Low Emission Construction) on a Balfour Beatty 403kW Bauer BG30 Rotary Rig. The result met a reduction of emissions in line with the latest engine air quality standards.

It follows on from an industry-first successful trial last year for medium engines, carried out on a 179kW Balfour Beatty Stage IIIA piling rig (Junttan PM20) which was also certified by the Energy Saving Trust. Since then, HS2 Ltd has been working with the Manufacturing Technology Centre to support the adoption of retrofit solutions for existing plant and machinery across the project’s main works civils contractors.

Howard Mitchell, HS2.

This latest retrofit certification means all medium and larger engine equipment bandings can be adapted, including plant with longer life spans.

Howard Mitchell is HS2’s head of innovation. He said: “As our work ramps up to reduce HS2’s carbon footprint, our innovation programme is providing fantastic opportunities to work with the supply chain, British manufacturers and academics to test the very latest green technology on our construction sites.

“We have set stringent requirements for air emission requirements for all construction vehicles and Non-Road Mobile Machinery (NRMM), to reduce emissions and improve local air quality around construction sites.

Carlos Vicente, Eminox.

“We’re delighted that the certification for retrofit on large NRMM means the whole industry, as well as HS2, will benefit from this innovation.”

Carlos Vicente, Eminox’s director of retrofit & aftermarket, added: “Retrofit has enabled on-road equipment to meet the latest clean air objectives in our cities.

“Now, though the support we have received, we can also bring the benefits of sustainable and economical solutions that provide the industry with access to stage V equivalent compliance for a fraction of the price of new equipment.”

Daniel Marsh, Imperial College.

Daniel Marsh, from the Centre for Low Emission Construction at Imperial College London, commented: “HS2 has set the most stringent machine emission standards for any major infrastructure project in western Europe to protect health and the environment.

“The second trial using retrofit technology, tested on piling rigs, has allowed us to successfully demonstrate the emission-reduction potential of the Eminox SCR system, leading to its certification with the EST NRMM scheme for use across larger engine groups.

“This will not only help to significantly reduce the air pollution impacts across the HS2 project as these new measures are adopted by other tier 1 contractors, but also leave a legacy for the whole UK construction sector as these cleaner machines are deployed elsewhere in support of other projects.”

Bekir Andrews, Balfour Beatty.

Balfour Beatty’s Bekir Andrews, associate director for group sustainability, was pleased with the results: “Environment and Communities alongside Materials are key components of Balfour Beatty’s ‘Building New Futures’ sustainability strategy. The non-road mobile machinery retrofit solution gives us the opportunity to extend the asset life of some of our larger machinery, to reach the highest emission standards.

“We see this kind of a technology as a key means to improving air quality for local communities and also doing our bit to protect the environment. We look forward to continuing this momentum and reaping the rewards as we apply this innovative solution on other specialist plant we own.”


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