AFC Energy plc (LON:AFC), a leading provider of hydrogen power generation technologies, has announced the signing of its first UK Strategic Partnership Agreement with leading international consultancy and construction business, Mace Group.
· Mace and AFC Energy will develop long term UK and international deployment strategies that support a transition from highly pollutant diesel generators to zero emission hydrogen generators for construction sites.
· The partnership is AFC Energy’s first UK construction sector collaboration and supports Mace’s ambitious sustainability commitments contained in its 2026 Business Strategy, including the removal of diesel generators from its sites by 2026.
· Multiple flagship sites under Mace’s control will be identified across the UK and in international markets for the initial leasing of AFC Energy’s off-grid, zero emission H-PowerTM system from early 2022.
· The partnership will focus constructor support in driving incumbent plant hire businesses to invest in sustainable hydrogen power generator technologies for on-hire to construction sites.
· Accounting for c. 38% of global energy related emissions, growing government regulation is driving the construction sector towards a clear and enforced transition away from diesel generator sets.
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.
Adam Bond, Chief Executive Officer at AFC Energy, said:
“A sustainable construction industry and the need for improved urban air quality is driving growing contractor interest in transitioning away from diesel generators in meeting today’s temporary power needs. AFC Energy’s zero emission, hydrogen fuelled power generator addresses this growing demand for cleaner power.
Mace is leading the construction sector’s transition away from diesel to sustainable power generation and our partnership, the first of its kind in the UK, will highlight to Government and industry just how zero-emission technology can be adopted to significantly accelerate decarbonisation and meet Net Zero aspirations.”
Mark Reynolds, Mace’s Group Chief Executive, added:
“One of our strategic priorities as an organisation is the pursuit of a sustainable world – and to make that a reality we know we must change how we power our construction sites. This partnership with AFC Energy will hopefully be a significant step on our journey to removing diesel from our projects – helping to reduce emissions, pollutants and noise.”