Kier & Sunbelt deliver 40% fuel savings

By Mike Hayes13 April 2021

UK firms Kier and Sunbelt Rentals combine to demonstrate significant fuel and CO2 reductions

Static crane operating at Kier’s Shakespeare North construction site in Liverpool

UK-based contractor Kier has been trialling new technology to reduce the energy required to power a static crane.

The flywheel energy storage system from tech firm PUNCH Flybird, based at Silverstone, is said to be similar to technology used by Formula 1 racing cars. It can capture energy from a machine that would normally be wasted, storing it in a high-speed energy storage flywheel.

Procured by Sunbelt Rentals and trialled on a crane operating on Kier’s Shakespeare North construction site in Liverpool, the technology reduced fuel consumption by 40%, with a 40% reduction also seen in carbon emissions, according to the contractor.

Gary Wintersgill, managing director at Kier Regional Building North & Scotland, said, “We are passionate about becoming a more sustainable business and an important element of this is working collaboratively with our supply chain partners to trial brand-new innovative technologies. We are continuing to use the PUNCH Flybrid flywheel technology on the Shakespeare North site and are assessing other sites that could also benefit from it.”

Mark Bown, national account manager at Sunbelt Rental, said, “Sunbelt Rentals and Kier have been working together in partnership to reduce CO2 impact and provide social value to local communities of Kier sites. This technology is a large step in the right direction to move towards net zero carbon.”

Tobias Knichel, managing director at PUNCH Flybrid, said, “Deploying a single flywheel system with this tower crane removes the equivalent emissions of 17 road cars from our city centres. I applaud Kier and Sunbelt Rentals for being the very first innovators to operate the flywheel energy storage system on a live construction site. Such forward thinking leadership deserves the very positive results achieved during this trial.”

Kier says it has committed to achieving net zero carbon across both its construction operations and its wider supply chain by 2045.

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