Four shortlisted for Lower Thames hydrogen project

National Highways has revealed the four businesses shortlisted to supply over 6 million kilograms of hydrogen for use on the proposed Lower Thames Crossing project.

Air Products PLC, BOC Limited, BP Oil UK Limited and INOVYN Europe Limited have passed the first stage of the procurement process and will move into a competitive dialogue with National Highways.

This approach allows for direct discussion between each bidder and National Highways, and is designed to find innovative, deliverable solutions.

The contract award is expected in summer 2024 and will see the supply, storage and distribution of the hydrogen, which will be used to power the construction machinery that will be used to build the new crossing. 

Diesel accounts for around a third of the projects carbon footprint at present, and National Highways hopes using hydrogen will allow the scheme to replace around 20 million litres of diesel on its worksites. 

Electric plant and battery powered machinery will also be used for static or slow-moving machinery. Other renewable fuel sources and biofuels may also be used, it said

Kat Ferguson, Procurement Director at the Lower Thames Crossing said: “The proposed Lower Thames Crossing is designed to the greenest road ever built in the UK. 

“We’ve put carbon reduction at the heart of our procurement process, and have ambitious plans to use hydrogen to target one of the biggest sources of embedded carbon in the construction industry – diesel.

” As part of National Highways’ commitment to net zero maintenance and construction emissions by 2040, the Lower Thames Crossing has been designated a pathfinder project to explore carbon neutral construction during its main work phase between 2026 and 2032.

“The scheme seeks to remove an estimated total of 66 million litres of diesel from its worksites – and using new, cleaner fuels such as hydrogen is one of the ways that will contribute to making this possible.”

Image of the Lower Thames Crossing courtesy of National Highways

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