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Media Release
Australian Government Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

2 December 2004

Greenhouse friendly engine planned for heavy vehicles

Trials are about to begin on the development of the first "greenhouse friendly" liquefied petroleum gas engine for heavy vehicles.

Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, announced today the Australian Government would contribute $600,000 to assist BP develop and trial the engine.

"Successful trials of this engine will fill a gap in the alternative fuels engine market and open opportunities for converting many of Australia's heavy vehicle fleets to this more energy efficient engine," he said.

"There is only a handful of trucks operating on BP anywhere in the world.

"This partnership will have multiple benefits for both the Australian Government and BP. The anticipated environmental benefits are significant, involving a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and increase in air quality.

"Emissions from the transport sector accounted for 14.4 per cent of Australia's net greenhouse gas emissions in 2002 so we are always looking for ways to reduce emissions and reduce costs to industry.

"BP's initiative with this project is particularly welcome as it not only addresses environmental benefits in the transport sector -- it also seeks to improve Australian knowledge and technology and put Australia at the forefront of developing these sorts of engines."

BP and its LPG carrier, Cootes Transport, will trial LPG-powered trucks on both urban and inter-urban routes. The trial involves developing and testing two engines which are significantly larger than those currently available. BP will be assisted in the development of the engines by Impco Technologies, a United States company and the world's largest supplier of gas conversion systems for engines.

Australian Government funding for the project comes from the Alternative Fuels Conversion Program, designed to improve air quality and greenhouse performance in Australian transport by encouraging increased use of natural gas and LPG in heavy vehicles. So far, the Australian Government has provided $20 million from the program. The development and trial of the new LPG engines is expected to be completed by December 2005.

Media contact:
Minister's office   02 62777640
Wayne Grant   0407 845 280

Commonwealth of Australia