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Sun July 05 2020

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Specialist contractor fuelled by veg oil

17 Mar While many contractors and plant hire firms are freaking out about the impending end of the red diesel rebate, others are getting on and finding suitable alternatives.

Land & Water, fuelled by HVO, at work on Rainham Marshes
Land & Water, fuelled by HVO, at work on Rainham Marshes

Last week civil engineer and dredging contractor Land & Water hosted a fuel demonstration event at its Rainham Marshes site in Essex, showcasing the vegetable oil fuel that Land & Water is bringing into its civil operations across the UK.

At Rainham, Land & Water operates the only licenced dredging disposal site in London. Rainham sediment lagoons have more than 3.5 million cubic metres of space available for any non-hazardous dredgings and restoration soils. The site is a habitat creation scheme managed by Land & Water on behalf of the Port of London Authority for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

Here, the machinery uses hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) instead of diesel.

Interest in HVO is on the rise since the chancellor of the exchequer last week announced that from April 2022 the construction industry would no longer be able to use red diesel in its off-highway machinery. With red diesel taxed at a lower rate than regular DERV, users of off-highway construction machinery will have to pay an extra 46.81 pence per litre for their diesel when the rebate ends.

While HVO is currently taxed at the same rate as diesel, there are hopes and expectations that the government might be persuaded to shift the red diesel rebate to non fossil fuels.

According to Crown Oil, which supplies Land & Water, HVO fuel is up to 90% net carbon neutral, giving it the potential to significantly reduce the carbon output of construction projects.

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It is also biodegradable, which Land & Water considers an important benefit considering the environments in which it operates.

The company posted on social media: “Land & Water is proud to be creating a more sustainable industry, dispelling the myth which suggests that liquid fuels will soon become a thing of the past. This easy to use alternative offers a very simple solution – switch your fuel! We were thrilled with our guests’ feedback and hope this encourages everyone to embrace HVO’s revolutionary fuel alternative.”

Director Richard Maclean added: “It’s not a pipe dream, its available now. Having been an early adopter and pioneer in the use of biodegradable hydraulic oils in plant over 15 years ago, we were excited to be one of the first companies to run a trial on HVO as an alternative to diesel.

“As a business which is passionate about working in and protecting our environment, HVO offers us and our customers a first significant step in reducing the carbon impact of our plant by a massive 90%. We are even offering to deliver plant with 90% carbon neutral transport.

“I am really looking forward to seeing how this develops. Well worth getting excited about.”

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