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Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia joins call to establish local renewable diesel industry

Photo: Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia

Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia, an association that represents and advances the interests of manufacturers and suppliers of heavy vehicles and their components, equipment and technology, has joined with leading cross-sector organizations in an appeal to the Australian government for support in enabling an onshore renewable diesel refining industry.

The letter to Chris Bowen, Australia’s minister for climate change and energy, points to the key role of renewable diesel in decarbonizing a range of hard-to-abate sectors.

While readily available overseas, it is not commercially available in Australia.

“Renewable diesel is a critical transition fuel while other technologies, such as electrification and renewable hydrogen, gather pace,” the letter states.

“Access to domestically produced renewable diesel represents a significant and immediate decarbonization opportunity across multiple sectors, including road transport, construction, maritime, mining, rail, agriculture and forestry.

“These sectors are the bedrock of the local economy and decarbonizing these industries is critical to achieving the Australian government’s emissions-reduction target of 43 percent by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050.”

Representing 29 percent of Australia’s economic output, these sectors consumed 27.5 billion liters (nearly 7.3 billion gallons) of diesel in 2019-’20 yet are hard to abate—meaning alternative technologies to using diesel are not readily available.

Renewable diesel, also known as hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO), is an advanced biofuel made from animal fats, vegetable oils including used cooking oil, and agricultural waste.

It is chemically identical to conventional diesel, can be used as a 100 percent drop-in fuel without machinery needing any modifications, and use is widely supported by Original Equipment Manufacturers.

“Renewable diesel offers an excellent, tested and readily available alternative to mineral diesel, with much as 75 percent to 95 percent reduction in lifecycle emissions compared with mineral diesel,” the letter points out.

“Renewable diesel enables equipment and machinery to live out its working life while we wait for zero-emission technology to replace or where other options ultimately do not materialize.”

The letter appeals to the Australian government to invest in the establishment and fast upscaling of a domestic renewable diesel industry.

“An integrated policy response inclusive of tax treatment, capital grants and incentives would be expected to reduce barriers inhibiting the development of an Australian renewable fuels industry.

“With the right policy settings, renewable diesel provides a viable and cost-effective decarbonization option for hard-to-abate sectors.”



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