Aberdeen hydrogen bus station reaches milestone

UK’s ‘first’ hydrogen production and bus refuelling station reaches its 1,000th refuel

The UK’s ‘first’ hydrogen production and bus refuelling station in Aberdeen has now reached its 1,000th refuel, the city council has announced.

(L-R) First Aberdeen commercial manager Daniel Laird, Aberdeen councillor Barney Crocket and Stagecoach North Scotland depot controller Daryl Mitchell

(L-R) First Aberdeen commercial manager Daniel Laird, Aberdeen councillor Barney Crocket and Stagecoach North Scotland depot controller Daryl Mitchell

Based at Aberdeen city council’s Kittybrewster depot, the facility opened in March 2015 and provides fuel for what the authority claims is Europe’s largest fleet of hydrogen fuel cell buses, which run in the city.

The refuelling station is owned and operated by industrial gas firm BOC — part of the Linde Group — and has been delivered as part of the council-led £19 million green transport demonstration project, which is testing the economic and environmental benefits of hydrogen transport technologies.

As well as being quieter and smoother to run than diesel vehicles, hydrogen buses are designed to reduce both air pollution and carbon emissions as they emit only water vapour from the tailpipe.

A similar hydrogen bus refuelling facility operates in London, but there are currently only four publically-accessible hydrogen refuelling stations throughout the whole of the UK. However, this is expected to increase to 13 by the end of next year (see story).

The Aberdeen Hydrogen Bus Project includes production of hydrogen at “the UK’s first commercial-scale hydrogen production and bus refuelling station”, as well as a purpose-built hydrogen fuel cell vehicle maintenance facility.

It has backing from the EU, the UK government and the Scottish Government, as well as a “broad range of private sector partners”, the council said.

Aberdeen city councillor Barney Crocket, who is chairman of European Hydrogen and Electromobility Projects at the authority, said: “This is a major milestone for the project and it’s great to see the 1,000th refuel at the station at Kittybrewster. It is fantastic for the city to be at the forefront of this project and helps to solidify our reputation as Europe’s energy capital.

“We look forward to many more milestones on this tremendous project.”

Aberdeen buses

The hydrogen production and refuelling station fuels 10 Van Hool hydrogen fuel cell buses — six of which are operated by Stagecoach on the X17 Aberdeen city centre to Westhill route, while First Aberdeen operates four on the X40 Kingswells to Bridge of Don park-and-ride route.

Bus company First Aberdeen managing director David Phillips said: “We are pleased to have played a key part in reaching this milestone for the ground-breaking hydrogen project. We are proud to be a partner in the trial of hydrogen technology in Aberdeen and look forward to achieving many more successes in the months to come.”

Stagecoach North Scotland managing director Steve Walker said: “It is fantastic to see the project reaching another milestone. We have had a lot of positive feedback from our customers on the hydrogen buses and are proud to be part of the project.”


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