Industry and Trade Minister Jacinta Allan today joined Caltex and GM Holden to announce a rollout of fuel containing up to 85 per cent ethanol across Caltex’s network, including Victoria, by end of October this year.
Ms Allan said Caltex’s Bio E-Flex fuel was the latest alternative fuel initiative to reach Victoria in a bid to help the State reach its goal of cutting carbon emissions by 20 per cent in 2020.
“The introduction of this high-ethanol fuel will not only deliver lower carbon emissions but introduces a renewable and a more sustainable fuel to drive us into the future,” she said.
“The fact that this fuel can be home grown will improve Victoria’s fuel security and further stimulate investment in local supply.”
Known overseas as E85, Bio E-Flex has the capacity to reduce overall carbon emissions by up to 50 percent when compared with traditional fossil fuels.
Ms Allan said that reducing Victoria’s carbon emissions by at least 20 per cent by 2020 was one of the key objectives of the recently released Victorian Climate Change White Paper Action Plan.
“Our Government is rising to the challenge of climate change, supporting new initiatives like biofuels to cut emissions and create a climate of new economic opportunity,” Ms Allan said.
“As part of the joint initiative, Holden is set to introduce flex-fuel vehicles across its product lines, including its top-selling Holden Commodore.
“These vehicles will be optimised to run on this high-ethanol fuel, which will be available at 11 Caltex sites in Victoria by end of October this year.
“It is no surprise that Victoria, as the centre of Australia’s automotive industry, is assembling the engine for this advanced and environmentally-friendly vehicle.”
Ms Allan said supporting the introduction of alternative fuels was also a key action in the Brumby Labor Government’s $175 million Jobs for the Future Economy Action Plan, which promoted green jobs and opportunities that capitalise on Victoria’s traditional strengths in agriculture, manufacturing, services and resources.
Ms Allan said the Brumby Labor Government would continue working with industry to establish a high-tech ethanol production facility in Victoria.
“Holden and Caltex are both members of a five-company consortium which signed a memorandum of understanding with our Government to investigate the establishment of a $400 million ethanol production plant in Victoria,” she said.
“The current model under consideration for Victoria could use anything from agricultural residues, food wrappers, sewerage, and nappies to building waste, to make the fuel.”
In Victoria, Bio E-Flex will initially be available from sites at Footscray, Hillside, Campbellfield, Mount Waverley, Clayton, Melton, Yarra Glen, Preston, Lilydale, Mornington and Springvale.
Ms Allan said the Brumby Labor Government strongly supported moves by industry to explore innovative new technologies to cut carbon emissions.
“We’re already supporting the roll-out of alternative fuels in Victoria and have awarded a number of grants to industry for biofuel infrastructure, including the recent $750,000 investment in the United Petroleum Biodiesel project at Hastings,” Ms Allan said.