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Costain appointed to support United Utilities on net zero journey


13 December 2022

Costain has been appointed by United Utilities to provide consultancy, engineering and design support services to deliver the Concept and Definition Phase of works to help phase out fossil fuels within the network. The contract is worth £360,000 and is the latest to demonstrate Costain’s role at the heart of driving UK infrastructure’s transition to Net Zero.

Under an existing five-year partnership, Costain has been the sole Managed Service Provider (MSP) for United Utilities since 2019. In support of the water industry ‘Public Interest Commitment’ United Utilities continues to work towards carbon neutrality, and its route map has identified fleet decarbonisation as a priority - this work is in support of that commitment.

Costain will leverage its design and build capabilities, oil and gas heritage and extensive experience of updating infrastructure assets for the green transition. Working closely with United Utilities, it is reviewing the benefits of potentially converting its boilers from fossil fuels to biogas across ten of its sites. Costain will also support the decarbonisation of United Utilities’ HGV and regional response vehicles fleet by scoping the provision of hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) bunkers and distribution facilities across nineteen sites.. HVO is being viewed by United Utilities as a potential transitional fuel, particularly for HGVs which will be the most challenging to decarbonise using electric or hydrogen solutions.

Gavin Stonard, Water Technical Development Director at Costain said:

“This is a very exciting opportunity for Costain to support the creation of sustainable and resilient infrastructure for the UK. We are pleased to have been chosen by United Utilities to work closely with the company on its decarbonisation journey. We will utilise the breadth of our capabilities in both the water and energy sectors as we do so, alongside our agile approach to project delivery.”

Martin Williams, Regional Asset Manager for Energy at United Utilities commented:

“As a result of the work, United Utilities will be in a position to implement a programme of work that will reduce our Scope 1 carbon emissions and support our transition to net zero. We recognise that HVO is a transitional fuel, however if all the potential carbon benefits from the works are achieved, United Utilities could reduce emissions from fossil fuels by up to 51%, making it a strategically important part of our roadmap to achieve carbon neutrality.” 

About Costain
Costain helps to improve people’s lives by creating connected, sustainable infrastructure that enables people and the planet thrive. We shape, create and deliver pioneering solutions that transform the performance of the infrastructure ecosystem across the UK’s energy, water, transportation and defence markets.

We are organised around our customers anticipating and solving their challenges and helping to improve performance. By bringing together our unique mix of construction, consulting and digital experts we engineer and deliver sustainable, efficient and practical solutions.

Reference links:

Costain installs the UK’s first 3D printed concrete water chamber | Costain
HyValue - renewable hydrogen demand and production study | Costain
Fleet decarbonisation - Filling the gap to net zero with hydrogen | Costain