CLEAN energy technology group Orbital Corporation Ltd has entered into a funding agreement with the federal government worth $2.8 million to construct and operate an engine testing facility in Balcatta. The state-of-the-art facility will test heavy-duty engines operating on conventional and alternative fuels such as natural gas, LPG and biodiesel to certification levels. In particular, the facility will conduct emissions testing of heavy-duty engines of government vehicles and research for government authorities seeking to validate environmental credentials of alternative fuel and drive-train technologies in Australia and Asia. The estimated construction cost of the facility is $3.6 million, with $2.8 million to come from the government under the Alternative Fuels Conversion Program. Orbital said it will fund the maintenance and operation of the facility until at least 2015 and will provide the federal government with preferential access to the facility. “With the continuing increase in the price of oil there is a strong interest in alternative fuels for heavy duty vehicle applications and the focus on greenhouse gas reduction,” Orbital chief executive Terry Stinson said. The company expects the facility, based at its Balcatta headquarters, to be fully operation by March next year.