Mace is a leading UK based, globally focused construction contractor known for its innovative approach to business practices and sustainability. It operates from five strategic hubs in Europe, Middle East and North Africa, North America, Sub‑Saharan Africa and Asia Pacific.
Mace recently published (February 2021) its revised decarbonisation ambitions through its 2026 Business Strategy, forming part of its vision of a more sustainable built environment. This strategy commits the company to achieving a 10% year on year reduction in carbon emissions, including the removal of diesel generators from its sites by 2026.
Under the Agreement, both Mace and AFC Energy aim to highlight industry’s support in commencing the important transition away from stationary diesel generators used on construction sites, to more sustainable hydrogen based technologies.
In summary, the partnership expects to:
· identify multiple high-profile flagship sites for the deployment of AFC Energy’s fuel cell system, on initial lease terms, to Mace construction sites across the UK and in international markets from early 2022;
· promote the benefits of utilising hydrogen-based fuels with plant hire companies and Government to help the industry sustainably move away from diesel in construction;
· review the different use cases for the adoption of AFC Energy fuel cell systems across various Mace construction sites in the UK and overseas where power needs and profiles differ; and
· highlight a longer-term deployment strategy, alongside plant hire businesses, in support of widespread adoption of hydrogen generator technologies as a sustainable alternative power source in construction.
Currently, the provision of temporary power to construction sites is provided through the hiring of on-site diesel gensets through plant hire businesses rather than constructors purchasing generators directly. For this reason, it is essential in driving the decarbonisation of the construction industry that a market based demand for alternative, sustainable on-site generation is signalled to plant hire businesses to support new investment in new, clean technologies such as hydrogen fuel cells.
The outcome of this partnership will not only drive new investment in hydrogen technologies for construction sites and other temporary power applications, but also establish a defined business model for widespread deployment that takes into account current industry considerations including logistics, fuelling strategies and system operability.
With this initiative, Government and industry will gain confidence in sustainable off-grid power generation through hydrogen to support the delivery of corporate and national emission reduction targets.
It is anticipated that in identifying high profile sites for system deployment, leasing arrangements between Mace and AFC Energy will initially be used. However, in due course, more traditional models of selling hydrogen based generation units to plant hire companies will create a critical mass of large scale deployment across the UK and Europe to see a material transition away from diesel generators for a long term sustainable investment in sustainable construction.