Case Study: Kao Data Gas Oil Uplift, Tank Clean & HVO Delivery

kao data hvo

We’re proud to have been part of a national first as Kao Data becomes the first UK data centre to switch to HVO fuel

The problem

Data centres consume huge amounts of energy and are therefore under increasing pressure to address their environmental impact.

Kao Data is committed to tackling climate change and is leading the way, operating one of the most sustainable colocation data centre campuses in the UK.

As part of its environmental commitments, Kao Data has a number of sustainable initiatives in place, including using 100% renewable energy, operating 100% refrigerant-free indirect evaporative cooling technologies and incorporating hyperscale-inspired design to deliver a market-leading PUE of <1.2, even at partial loads.

In addition to the above, Kao Data sought a straightforward solution to its heavy reliance on fossil fuel, initially at its Harlow campus.

The solution

We are proud to have partnered with Kao Data in an industry first – to remove all fossil fuel on campus and replace it with a 100% renewable diesel fuel: Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO).

We uplifted 45,000 litres of gas oil, cleaned their tanks to ensure no remnants of sludge or microbial contamination remained and delivered HVO straight into their tanks.

As a drop-in fuel, there is no requirement for expensive infrastructure replacements or modifications; Kao Data can simply continue operating as normal.

Kao Data plans to use over 750,000 litres of HVO when the campus is fully developed.

Environmental benefits of using HVO in data centres

HVO fuel is a second-generation advanced renewable diesel alternative. Using a specialist hydro treatment process, it’s synthesised from 100% renewable materials such as vegetable and plant oils, which makes it one of the cleanest fuels on the market.

  • 100% renewable, biodegradable and sustainable
  • Reduces up to 90% of net CO2 emissions
  • Reduces notifiable NOx, CO and PM emissions
  • Clean burning fuel for cleaner air

Ditching fossil diesel in its generators marks a huge step in Kao Data’s green commitment to becoming a fully carbon-neutral data centre operator by 2030.

Operational benefits of using HVO in data centres

Using HVO increases the reliability and resilience of Kao Data by taking away the potential for microbial growth to form. Because HVO is FAME and ester free (which is susceptible to microbial and water attack), it doesn’t face the stability issues faced by fossil diesel. This eliminates sludge formation which blocks fuel lines and potentially leads to engine shutdowns.

HVO fuel is therefore much easier to look after and generator performance is maintained, ensuring that there is no degradation to the service Kao Data provides.

By switching to HVO, Kao Data will enjoy HVO’s many benefits:

  • 10-year fuel storage life
  • Can be used as direct replacement for fossil diesel
  • Year-round performance, even in winter
  • FAME and ester-free
  • Free from aromatics, sulphur and metals
  • Odourless and fully biodegradable

Gérard Thibault, Chief Technology Officer at Kao Data said: “This pioneering approach to replace our generator’s diesel provision with HVO fuel is a key step in the company’s efforts to become net zero, and a further demonstration of our leadership in the international data centre sustainability field,” said

“This move effectively eliminates fossil fuels from our data centre operations, and helps us reduce Scope 3 emissions in our customers’ supply chain, while delivering no degradation to the service they receive. Most importantly, it shows how our industry can take a simple and highly beneficial step forward for the good of the environment, ahead of COP26.”

Join Kao Data in leading the way in the sustainability movement and find out more about switching to HVO fuel. Visit our Crown HVO Fuel page to learn more about HVO or call 0330 123 3399 to speak to a HVO fuel specialist.