Green bus maker reveals plan for Scottish hydrogen fuel production facility |...

Green bus maker reveals plan for Scottish hydrogen fuel production facility | Asda online sales double | 284 restaurant workers made redundant

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Jo Bamford, chief of Ryse Hydrogen, has revealed plans to create a hydrogen production facility in Scotland.

He said the production unit will be sited outside Glasgow and it is expected to be operational by November next year when the rescheduled COP26 climate event is due to take place in the city.

Mr Bamford earlier said Glasgow could run 300 hydrogen-powered buses, while Aberdeen is set put a fleet of hydrogen powered double deckers on the road.

READ MORE: World’s first hydrogen-powered double decker buses to be launched in Scotland

As well as heading green hydrogen production company Ryse he owns Northern Ireland-based manufacturer Wrightbus, and envisages around 3,000 hydrogen buses – about 10 per cent of the UK’s total fleet – could be running by 2024.

Mr Bamford said: “We will have a Scottish solution outside of Glasgow ready and running for November next year – a production system that will be ready for COP26.”

A fleet of hydrogen-powered double decker buses that is claimed to be the world’s first is due to be launched in Scotland later this year.

First Aberdeen is to run the 15 hydrogen-powered double deckers supplied by Wrightbus as part of an £8.3m project been funded by Aberdeen City Council, the Scottish Government, and the European Union (FCH JU), with an investment of £500,000 per vehicle.

JCB heir Mr Bamford, who hailed the Scottish Government’s commitment to a hydrogen agenda, said “it is essential that strong partnerships exist between the government, local authorities and business to unlock investments like these”.

Green hydrogen is created by electrolysis of water using power sources such as wind or solar.

Asda has said that online sales doubled in the past quarter after the coronavirus pandemic caused a “structural shift” in customer shopping habits.

It reported a 3.8% jump in like-for-like sales for the three months to June 30 after online grocery sales jumped as shoppers were advised to stay at home.

READ MORE: Woodside cuts in on Cairn Energy’s Senegal disposal

The supermarket chain said that online sales “doubled” in the second quarter after it increased its delivery capacity by 65% during the period.

Click and collect sales also quadrupled for the quarter due to “the increased and sustained appetite for online grocery shopping”, it said.

Asda chief executive and president Roger Burnley told the PA news agency that the retailer has seen changes in customer behaviour start to sustain following the virus.

He said an increase in home-cooking had bolstered sales since March, although this could “slow as people start to eat out more again”.

He added: “The pandemic has created a structural shift in customer behaviours towards grocery shopping.

“We have accelerated our online capacity expansion to meet levels we had anticipated reaching in eight years within a matter of weeks and we will continue to expand this offer.

“We will also maintain focus on ensuring our in-store experience delivers what customers want from a shopping trip – great value, relevant range and ease.

“As life under Covid-19 continues, customer concerns are shifting from the health consequences of the pandemic to its financial impacts – and we remain absolutely committed to protecting both their health, and their budgets.”

Mr Burnley said the company will continue to “keep prices low” as the retailer’s own data revealed a 2.2% fall in spending power among UK families.

The supermarket said it is also expanding its delivery trial with Uber Eats to 25 more stores over the next eight weeks, as it looks to tap into more demand for grocery delivery.

Restaurant owner Tasty said it has completed a planned cut of 30% of its workforce, in a move which made 284 workers redundant.

The company, which operates the Wildwood restaurant chain, saw shares dip after it said it expects it will have up to 48 sites trading this month – around 86% of the estate.

READ MORE: Scottish airport returns to profit after financial turmoil

It told investors that most of the remaining restaurants are not planned to reopen for the foreseeable future and stressed that some of its open restaurants could shut their doors again if they fail to reach expected levels of trading.

Sales levels have been “positive” this month but future trading conditions are likely to remain challenging, it added.

Shares were down 8.7% to 2.1p.

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