Marr leads the way for renewable dieselComments Off on Marr leads the way for renewable diesel
Australian crane company Marr Contracting (Marr) has led the way for renewable diesel (HVO100) to be used on Australian construction sites for the first time in a ground-breaking move that takes one of the country’s largest industries closer to a fossil fuel-free future.
Today, Minister for Infrastructure, Cities and Active Transport, Rob Stokes, announced that renewable diesel will be used in Marr’s cranes operating on the construction of two key NSW Government projects, Powerhouse Parramatta and the new Sydney Fish Market.
The Australian-first sustainability initiative is the result of a partnership between the NSW Government, Marr as the instigators of the HVO100 initiative and cranage provider, Multiplex as the delivery partner of the new Sydney Fish Market, and Lendlease as the design and construction partners of Powerhouse Parramatta.
Recognising the urgency to find an alternative to fossil diesel to power its fleet of heavy lift tower cranes, Marr consulted with clients and leaders within Australia’s construction industry, including senior executives from Multiplex and Lendlease, to understand the issues and constraints with currently available alternatives before scouring the world for the best solution.
After working closely with Neste, the world’s leading producer of renewable diesel, Marr assessed the use of renewable diesel (HVO100) in its cranes and navigated the importing process, with the first shipment arriving in the country in August. The subsequent approval from the Australian Government to allow the supply and sale of HVO100, which has been assisted by Refuelling Solutions as Marr’s nominated distribution partner, was finalised on 21 October 2022, clearing the way for HVO100 to be used as a drop-in fuel in Marr’s cranes, which are currently operating on the new Sydney Fish Market and Powerhouse Parramatta.
The announcement comes just months after the Australian Government passed the first climate change legislation in a decade, with the commitment to cut emissions by at least 43% by 2030 (compared with 2005) and reach net zero by 2050.
Neste MY Renewable Diesel (HVO100) is a high-performing diesel produced from 100% renewable raw materials such as waste and residue fats and oils. Used as a drop-in fuel, it is suitable for existing diesel engines and can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90% over its life cycle compared to fossil fuels.
“For our industry, the decision to replace fossil diesel with HVO100 is about being real about sustainability. In our space there has been a lot of discussion about electrification, but after looking at the alternatives we believe this is the most sustainable power source currently available for the work that we are doing. That’s because it allows us to transition away from fossil diesel and maintain the speed, power and reliability of our cranes to drive productivity and cost-efficiencies on the projects we are working on – while at the same time helping our clients achieve their sustainability goals,” Marr Managing Director, Simon Marr, said.
Mr Marr said the shift to renewable fuel was the result of meaningful industry collaboration and investment, demonstrating how government support can help the private sector address sustainability issues.
“As cranage providers, we are only at the thin edge of the wedge in terms of what can be achieved to make our industry more productive and more sustainable. However, in acknowledging the emissions reduction targets of many of our Tier 1 clients and end-clients, we’re providing an implementable solution that can help them progress their sustainability goals through a direct reduction in scope one emissions,” Mr Marr said.
“That’s why the support of clients like Multiplex and Lendlease, who understand what’s involved in transitioning to sustainable alternatives and are committed to finding solutions, will help Australia catch up to other regions, such as Europe and the UK, where the switch to renewable diesel is fast becoming the norm for our industry.”
Multiplex Regional Managing Director, David Ghannoum, said the company was thrilled to support Marr and the NSW Government, with the support of the Australian Government, in bringing HVO100 into the Australian market.
“This is the first time a viable fossil fuel alternative has been made available in Australia and is a critical step towards a net zero carbon future for one of the country’s largest industries.
“We’re always looking for sustainability initiatives that will have a material impact and replacing fossil diesel fuel on site is a huge opportunity to significantly reduce the carbon produced on a project,” Mr Ghannoum said.
Managing Director of Lendlease’s Construction business, David Paterson, said the initiative showed that Lendlease is absolutely committed to climate action.
“After two years of researching alternatives to mineral diesel, we’re introducing the first renewable diesel to Australia onto our project sites, in collaboration with partners, which will radically reduce emissions from construction equipment and become a game-changer for our industry.
“We hope today’s announcement inspires collective action from Australian contractors, the supply chain, and customers to address one of the most critical needs of our time”, said Mr Paterson.
“The decisions we are making today – as individual businesses and as an industry – are just a step in the journey and we all have a long way to go. We know that technology will evolve, so the best solution today may evolve into something different in the future. In the meantime, adopting the best option available buys us time to find the next best solution,” Mr Marr added.
Clean Fuel Alliance (Bioenergy Australia) Chair Simon Roycroft said the transition highlighted the challenges faced by many businesses trying to align with the expectations of international companies operating in Australia.
“Marr’s sector-leading initiative is a game changer for other Australian businesses conscientiously embracing the transition to low carbon liquid fuel. It takes a first mover to influence change, and despite the perceived challenges, Marr has demonstrated that where there is strong intent – and collaboration between industry (both large and small) and government – there is a way.”
Although there is currently no manufacturing of renewable diesel in Australia, there are several production plants in the design phase with local supply expected to be available in the next few years. In the meantime, Marr will continue to work with Neste and Refuelling Solutions to import HVO100 into Australia and make it available to Marr’s clients.