Aberdeen Hydrogen Bus Project shortlisted for national award

The £21million green transport Aberdeen Hydrogen Bus Project has been shortlisted for two prestigious national local authority awards.

The Aberdeen City Council-led project, which has backing from the European, UK and Scottish governments as well as a broad range of private sector partners, has reached the finals for the APSE awards in the Best Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Initiative and Best Public/Private Partnership Working Initiative categories.

These awards are unique in that they are designed to recognise frontline services that are delivered to local communities, by local councils. This year’s awards span 21 categories and cover the vast majority of local government frontline service areas.

All of the finalists were required to present best practise case studies in their respective categories, which showed them all to be frontrunners in implementing innovative ideas that support continuous improvement and adaptation in local services.

The Aberdeen Hydrogen Bus Project has seen Europe’s largest fuel cell bus fleet take to the streets of the Granite City, and the creation of the UK’s first hydrogen production and bus refuelling station, along with a purpose-built maintenance facility.

It is the most high-profile of a range of projects designed to create a hydrogen economy in the city.

Aberdeen City Council Leader Jenny Laing said: “The Aberdeen Hydrogen Bus Project has been a fantastic success story for the City Council and the other partners so it’s very well deserved to be shortlisted for these awards.

"It’s been very well received by the bus drivers and members of the public, and has created a real buzz about the city’s hydrogen capabilities.

“These vehicles have replaced 10 diesel buses on the city’s streets, cutting the amount of toxins polluting our air on a daily basis and helping us work towards making Aberdeen a cleaner, greener city, with a clear focus on low-carbon technologies.

“The shortlisting in the two categories is a testament to the hard work carried out on the project by everyone involved.”

The buses were manufactured by Van Hool, and are operated by First Aberdeen and Stagecoach North Scotland, and the hydrogen production and refuelling station is owned and operated by BOC, a member of the Linde Group.

Humza Yousaf, Minister for Transport and the Islands said: “These nominations are well deserved. We’ve been very pleased to be able to support this project from the start. Not only is it helping us deliver our aims of reducing climate change emissions and improving local air quality, it is also inspiring others across Scotland to follow Aberdeen’s lead and investigate the important role that hydrogen can play as a low emission fuel of the future.”

Daniel Laird, Commercial Manager at First Aberdeen, said: "Our four hydrogen buses operating between Dubford and Kingswells are performing well and are popular with customers and staff. We're proud to be part of this groundbreaking project and pleased that it has been short-listed for two prestigious national local authority awards."

Steve Walker, Managing Director for Stagecoach North Scotland said: "We are delighted to see the Aberdeen Hydrogen Bus Project short-listed for these prestigious awards. The team at Aberdeen City Council have done a fantastic job coordinating the project bringing greener, smarter travel to Aberdeen. We invest heavily in our fleet ensuring our passengers have the best possible experience and the Hydrogen buses are a positive addition to our fleet in North Scotland."

The Aberdeen Hydrogen Bus Project partners are: Aberdeen City Council, Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution, BOC, Van Hool, First, Stagecoach, Scotland Gas Network, Element Energy, The Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, and Innovate UK.

It has been funded by Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (through the HyTransit & High V.LO-City projects, Innovate UK, Aberdeen City Council, Stagecoach, First, Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution, and Scotland Gas Network. BOC has also invested in the project through the hydrogen production and bus refuelling station.

The winners of each category in the APSE awards will be announced in Derry/Londonderry at the APSE Annual Service Awards Charity Dinner on Thursday 8 September.