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Staff, students and apprentices at St Helens College had the opportunity to hear about a pioneering initiative coming to St Helens, which will see further investment in hydrogen fuel cell-powered refuse collection vehicles.

With decarbonisation at the forefront of the agenda, St Helens Council has invested in a ten-vehicle order of these revolutionary vehicles created by leading manufacturer, FAUN-Zoeller, part of the Kirchhoff Group, who have developed this technology in collaboration with Daimler AG, based in Stuttgart, South Germany, a town officially twinned with St Helens since 1948.

The first of the new hydrogen-powered vehicles visited St Helens College’s STEM Centre Campus, showcasing the cutting-edge technology to engineering, motor vehicle and construction students and apprentices.

This was shortly followed by a presentation from CEO of FAUN-Zoeller, Simon Hyde, about the exciting future for hydrogen-powered vehicles, in response to the UK Government’s target to achieve net-zero carbon emissions.

Also in attendance was Deputy CEO and Chief Financial Officer at St Helens College, Rav Garcha, CEO of FAUN-Zoeller, Simon Hyde, St Helens Council cabinet members, Councillor Andy Bowden and Councillor Kate Groucutt, and St Helens Council’s Recycling Officer, Suzanne Knott.

Andy Bowden, Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport at St Helens Council, said: “We are delighted to be leading the way with such a pioneering project that is the first of its kind in the UK. The decarbonisation of our fleet is a key element of our net-zero plan and this investment reinforces our commitment.

“This partnership will also see the roll out of a green skills training programme. This will be available to our workforce, local colleges and businesses so that we can work with communities to prepare for the opportunities that new technologies like hydrogen present, and to get us to net-zero by 2040.”

He said: “The company have invested heavily in the product since 2016 and are very well positioned in terms of product performance, manufacturing capability and capacity, to provide a robust solution to the challenge of decarbonisation. After a huge £15m investment in a new, dedicated production facility for BLUEPOWER, the technology is now more than ready for the UK! We are thrilled to be fully engaged with the forward-thinking team at St Helens.”

St Helens Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy, Business and Skills, Councillor Kate Groucutt, added: “The investment in these vehicles will unlock development opportunities in green skills here in the St Helens borough with dedicated on-site support and training for our staff. By working with local further and higher education providers such as St Helens College, we can help ensure that local young people are first in line for these skilled jobs in the future.”

FAUN-Zoeller Hydrogen Truck Visit



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