Irish Minister visits Wrightbus factory

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Ireland’s Minister for Environment, Agriculture and Rural Affairs Edwin Poots MLA has visited Wrightbus’ facility in Ballymena to discuss the firm’s plans for a hydrogen economy in Northern Ireland.

Wrightbus CEO Buta Atwal met with the Minister to explain how the company has been turned around since its takeover in 2019 and what its plans are for the future. The manufacturer said its products can have a positive impact on the environment and fulfil the ethos of Northern Ireland’s Green Growth plan, announced by the Minister in June last year, reported the Ballymena Times.

After the meeting, the Minister told local media: “I am keenly aware of Wrightbus’ ambition to grow the hydrogen economy in Northern Ireland and pleased to learn more about their ongoing drive to grow Northern Ireland’s hydrogen economy and create green jobs. Their ambitions here extend well beyond hydrogen buses. They also want to increase the production and distribution of hydrogen fuel, using Northern Ireland’s abundant indigenous wind resources with the final aim to stimulate development of a green hydrogen sector that can operate without government support.

“With the UK hosting COP26 in Glasgow in the coming months, the focus for UK government is to accelerate action towards achieving the goals of the Paris agreement and it is companies like Wrightbus that are leading the charge.”

Buta Atwal added: “We were delighted to welcome Mr Poots to our Ballymena factory and to show him first-hand the ground-breaking work we’re doing at Wrightbus to further zero-carbon transport and quickly develop the wider hydrogen economy. We’re incredibly proud that the buses and technology we’re developing in Ballymena is helping to lead the way globally. We firmly believe that building a strong hydrogen economy in Northern Ireland will stimulate a post-Covid green recovery, creating skilled jobs while also helping with the global push towards net zero.”

Wrightbus CEO Buta Atwal is seen with with Minister for Environment, Agriculture and Rural Affairs Edwin Poots MLA. WRIGHTBUS