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South Australia Aims to Increase Use of Gas for Transport and Heavy Machinery

A South Australian Government working group will develop a framework for increased use of gaseous fuels for road, rail, marine and mining transport along with heavy machinery such as mining equipment, following its inaugural meeting in Adelaide.

The Working Group, Gaseous Fuels for Transport and Heavy Machinery, was established to devise a framework to support increased use of natural gas as an alternative transport fuel to diesel, based on recommendations made in the Roadmap for Oil and Gas Projects in South Australia.

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Importantly, the Working Group recently accepted Gas Energy Australia’s request to expand its terms of reference to include LPG, and to also focus on reducing carbon and particulate emissions, as well as the associated public health benefits that reduced air pollution would deliver.

Gas Energy Australia’s CEO Mike Carmody addressed the inaugural meeting, providing a comprehensive overview of the potential of Australian LPG, LNG and CNG to improve the nation’s environmental responsibility and air quality. “Gas powered vehicles produce up to 23 per cent less greenhouse gas emissions than their petrol and diesel powered counterparts, as well as up to 90 per cent less dangerous particulate pollution,” Mr Carmody said. “The gas industry is willing to invest in the technology and infrastructure needed to allow increased use of gas as a cleaner, cheaper transport fuel alternative, but supportive government policy is also needed as a driver for change. “As it stands, current tax policy settings favour the use of foreign fuel, thereby discouraging the uptake of gas.”

This is despite the fact that increased use of gas also provides a cost effective way to improve energy security – every 10 per cent substitution of imported diesel by Australian gas saves $870 million in import costs. Akin to the agenda of the Working Group, Gas Energy Australia’s 2030 Vision for Cleaner, Cheaper Australian Fuels aims to harness the advantages of using Australia’s own abundant supply of natural gas to improve Australia’s air quality, public health, fuel security and affordability, while creating new jobs. The Vision contains a number of goals, including for at least 25% of on-road heavy duty trucks to be powered by natural gas by 2030, along with at least 50% of off-road heavy duty trucks and plant purchased from 2030 onwards.

“We look forward to continuing to engage as part of the Working Group to overcome barriers to the uptake of Australian gas as a transport fuel,” Mr Carmody said. The Working Group will meet again later this year to continue working towards the development of an agreed vision and supporting material. For more information contact Taryn Bevege, Media & Communications Manager, Gas Energy Australia Taryn Bevege tbevege@gasenergyaustralia.asn.au or visit www.gasenergyaustralia.asn.au