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Costain’s innovative approach to managing industrial cooling media significantly reduces carbon footprint

18 April 2024

  • Use of mobile baling system on cooling sites sees 70% reduction in transport carbon emissions 

Costain, the infrastructure solutions company, has trialled a new method for managing and transporting waste media from industrial cooling that has resulted in significantly lower carbon emissions.  

The new technique centres on a mobile automated baling machine used recently with a tier one industrial gas provider. Taking up a relatively small area (3.5m x 7m) and powered by a standalone generator, the baling machine receives waste material (heat media) from cooling towers. The machine compresses the media from approximately 10m3 down to just 1.44m3, vastly reducing the size of the waste that needs to be transported.  

Smaller, more compressed waste material is easier and safer for workers to handle. The smaller volume also reduces the time taken to complete the works by lowering the transportation demand. On one recent project, Costain lowered its overall travel emissions by 70% compared with a typical scheme and completed the works to schedule.  

The baling unit has the capacity to produce one compressed bale (1.5m x 1.2m x 0.8m) approximately every 40 minutes, and during one recent project it successfully compressed four tons of media waste in an eight-hour shift.  

Mark Blackham, head of industrial cooling at Costain, commented: “Our industrial cooling customers are governed by stringent regulations and legislation, and we have an important role to play in providing innovative solutions for the safe and efficient operation and maintenance of their cooling towers.  

“Deploying a mobile automated baler on our larger industrial cooling projects has been tremendously successful. By massively reducing the volume of the waste media, we have been able to cut down our transportation needs and realise considerable environment and efficiency benefits. We will use this method for future projects where there is a need to transport high volumes of industrial cooling media.”   

For more than 20 years Costain has been providing innovative solutions for the safe and efficient operation and maintenance of cooling towers, working with a range of customers within power generation, chemical, petrochemical, food, cement, steel and general manufacturing industries.




Media enquiries: George Parrett [email protected]  


Notes to editors 

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.