THE south-west was likely to be “near the top of the list” of regions to establish a public Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) refuelling station for heavy vehicles, Regional Cities Minister Denis Napthine said.
Dr Napthine made the comment after announcing that Wodonga would be the first of five LNG refuelling stations for dual-fuel heavy duty vehicles that would be set up throughout Victoria under an $8.3 million project.
He said no decision had been made yet about the location of the other four refuelling stations but the south-west had a strong case to get one of them because it had the biggest fleet of trucks using LNG fuel.
Murray Goulburn at Koroit had the biggest fleet of dual fuel trucks in the state and had an LNG outlet at its Koroit factory.
The Kalari transport company, which has a depot in Portland, also had a significant number of trucks using LNG fuel, he said.
Dr Napthine this week helped launch EVOL, a new dual-fuel system that will allow heavy-duty vehicles currently running on diesel to use LNG.
The state government had committed $2.5 million to the $8.3 million project.
“LNG provides a number of advantages for trucking operators including lower fuel costs and lower carbon and nitrogen emissions with LNG vehicles also noticeably quieter than their diesel equivalents,” Dr Napthine said.
“There are a number of operators who are currently using or trialling LNG in heavy duty vehicles but there is only one public refuelling station in Deer Park.”
Dr Napthine said the funding would give freight operators confidence to invest in the more cost-effective and environmentally friendly dual-fuel trucks.
State Regional and Rural Development Minister Peter Ryan said the LNG refuelling station initiative complemented the Coalition government’s Energy for the Regions program, which aimed to provide natural gas to regional and rural communities across Victoria.
“We are determined to deliver on our commitment to extend access to natural gas across regional Victoria and encourage greater investment in the regions through new industry and business opportunities,” Mr Ryan said.