Contractors working on the £60 million North Devon Link Road upgrade are using a more environmentally friendly fuel as part of a series of measures to cut carbon emissions.
Griffiths is one of the first companies in the country to use Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) fuel which is a “green diesel” made from waste vegetable oil or fats and hydrogen rather than methanol.
Although it can be used in many conventional diesel vehicles, HVO produces up to 90% less CO2 than regular diesel, which fully supports the carbon reduction commitments of both Griffiths and Devon County Council.
The County Council has adopted an approach to reduce carbon emissions in all of its highway maintenance projects, and the measures being employed in the construction of the Link Road are a prime example.
Griffiths staff are also using two electric vehicles on the North Devon Link Road scheme.
Councillor Andrea Davis, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Environment and Transport, said:
“The County Council has declared its commitment to achieve a target of net zero carbon by 2030, and every aspect of the council’s work has to play its part. Reducing carbon emissions in highway construction and maintenance is a challenge when you consider the vehicles and materials that are needed, especially on a project the size of the North Devon Link Road upgrade. However, we and our contractors are adopting pioneering approaches to ensure we can meet out carbon reduction targets – and the use of HVO fuel is making a massive difference.”
The North Devon Link Road is the first site where Griffiths is using HVO in its diesel vehicles, and the company aims to roll out the fuel to 50% of its sites by the end of this year, and to the remainder by end of March next year.
Griffiths Project Manager Hedley Martin said:
“We were delighted that the North Devon Link Road project was chosen to be part of the Griffiths trial decarbonisation programme. The experience has been extremely positive for everyone involved, knowing we are doing our bit to reduce the emissions makes us feel very proud. We were also impressed with the Health and Safety benefits that the fuel delivered. Our onsite Plant Operatives have experienced a more pleasant working environment with better air quality since the machines have been operating on HVO fuel.”
To date construction has been restricted by dormice habitat preventing work on parts of the Link Road site, but as dormice are now emerging from hibernation, work is set to progress. It will initially concentrate on earthworks and drainage, particularly in the Landkey junction area where a new roundabout is being constructed.
Councillor Andrea Davis the cabinet member for Climate Change, Environment and Transport at Devon County Council said;
“It was good to see the progress on the upgrade to the North Devon Link Road and to see for myself the measures in place to protect the dormice. We are fortunate to have such a vibrant population of dormice in North Devon, these residents are being well looked after and protected by Griffiths.”