Orbital secures $2.8m in govt funding

20/06/2008 - 09:33

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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.

Orbital secures $2.8m in govt funding

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 facility will test heavy duty engines operating on conventional and alternative fuels such as natural gas, LPG and biodiesel to certification levels.

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.

The international company expects the facility, based at its Balcatta headquarters, to be fully operation by March next year.

Below is a copy of the announcement

International clean energy technology group, Orbital Corporation Limited (ASX: OEC - "Orbital"), reinforcing its position at the forefront of clean engine research & development in Australia, is to construct and operate a heavy duty engine test facility after securing Australian Federal Government support. The new facility will be capable of operating engines on Natural Gas, LPG and Biodiesel as well as Diesel and Gasoline.

Orbital said today that it had entered into a Funding Agreement with the Commonwealth of Australia ("Commonwealth") to construct and operate the new state-of-the-art facility at its Australian headquarters in Balcatta, Western Australia.

It is anticipated that the facility will be fully operational by March, 2009. The facility will provide the following services:

- Heavy duty engine emissions testing research of in-service vehicles for Commonwealth and State Government authorities;

- Engine development and emission testing services for Australian and Asian companies seeking to develop cleaner engine technologies and reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and

- Heavy duty engines emissions research for government authorities seeking to validate the environmental credentials of alternative fuel and drive-train technologies for heavy vehicle applications in Australia and Asia.

Under the terms of the Funding Agreement, the Commonwealth will provide a grant of A$2.76 million through the Alternative Fuels Conversion Program administered by the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts towards total estimated construction costs of A$3.56 million. Orbital will fund the maintenance and operation of
the facility until at least FY 2014/15 and provide the Commonwealth with preferential access to the facility.

Commenting on the funding agreement, Orbital's CEO elect, Mr. Terry Stinson, said, "We are extremely pleased to have received this support from the Commonwealth Government to construct a world-class testing and research facility in Australia"

"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.

There are compelling reasons to further research the economic and environmental outcomes of switching to Natural Gas and LPG, particularly in the Australian operating environment, and this facility will enable Orbital to be at the forefront of delivering new technology into this growth market," Mr Stinson continued.

"The new facility is yet another step in our strategy to grow an integrated alternative fuel systems business leveraging off the extensive engineering experience we have developed in recent years. Orbital will also have the capacity to support a broader set of clean energy services to the road transport, mining and other sectors. Orbital anticipates increased opportunities in the alternative fuels market, particularly in Australia and Asia".

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