The gas-to-liquid (GTL) fuel is being used in plant on phase two of the Environment Agency’s Perry Barr & Witton flood risk management scheme.
The £32m project will hold 1.7 million cubic meters of water and reduce flood risk for 1,400 properties currently at risk of flooding from the River Tame.
The decision was made to trial the cleaner burning Shell GTL fuel in an attempt to reduce levels of air pollutants during the second phase of the project.
Jackson Civil Engineering services manager Andy Lusher said: “Previous trials have shown that GTL fuel can significantly reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particulate matter emissions so we were keen to give it a try on our sites. The Perry Barr & Witton scheme offers a unique opportunity to introduce alternative fuels to reduce on-site emissions and with Birmingham’s active consultation on the new Clean Air Zone proposed for 2020, we felt this was the perfect site for the trial. “
The Perry Barr site is the first construction site in Birmingham to be powered by Shell GTL fuel, which is supplied exclusively in the UK by Certas Energy.
But Jackson is not the first construction company to use it – that accolade goes to Murphy, which is using it on a site in Harefield, West London, where it is diverting gas pipelines as part of HS2 advance works. [See our previous report here.]
The fuel is free of sulphur, metals and aromatics, which helps to minimise its impact on the environment compared to conventional diesel, it is claimed. It therefore produces less odour, smoke and engine noise.
Certas Energy regional manager Leigh Claridge says it is “a proven and pragmatic solution for contractors and the construction supply chain to improve the environmental impact that construction projects have on local air quality”.
Environment Agency project manager Josh Harris added: “In addition to reducing the flood risk and improving the public space for the community, Jackson can fully support us in achieving many of our environmental goals, including the use of cleaner fuels – it’s a win-win for everyone.”