New LPG production facilities proposed for the sustainable manufacture of next-generation LPG vehicles in Victoria and South Australia

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SYDNEY – Dec 18, 2013: VACC, the peak automotive industry body in Victoria, and Gas Energy Australia, the peak national body representing alternative gaseous fuels, have presented a joint proposal to the Victorian Premier, and his automotive industry roundtable, for the creation of world-class LPG conversion facilities in Victoria and South Australia. The facilities would supply next-generation LPG vehicles to the Australian market, including LPG-powered SUVs, small cars, light commercial and hybrid vehicles.

The three facilities, to be located in Melbourne, Geelong and Adelaide, could produce 45,000 next-generation vehicles and create more than 500 jobs in the automotive industry.

“The initiative will require industry and government cooperation to create a niche manufacturing capability for the Australian car industry that will be sustainable in the long term and make LPG vehicles a viable alternative for new-car buyers,” VACC Executive Director, David Purchase, said.

“These vehicles are not the LPG converted vehicles we know now. The vehicles rolling off the new production lines will utilise the most advanced LPG technology and include production of LPG-powered hybrid vehicles,” Mr Purchase said.

The production facilities would operate in association with a new national Centre of Excellence to be established in Melbourne and provide the research and development to deliver a wide range of next-generation LPG vehicles, such as is currently available in Europe. The Centre will utilise displaced high-end skilled labour and involve training production protocols, accreditation and product certification.

“This is an opportunity to create our own world-class LPG manufacturing facilities, using European and American production methods. It will also reduce our dependency on oil, improve Australia’s energy security, utilise an indigenous resource and reduce vehicle greenhouse gases,” Gas Energy Australia Director and CEO, Michael Carmody, said.

The proposal comes on a day when the automotive industry considers its future, following Holden’s announcement to cease vehicle production in 2017 and make 2,900 workers redundant. The proposal was presented to the Victorian Premier, Denis Napthine, at today’s automotive industry roundtable.

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