AGL Energy Limited (AGL) today announced plans to roll out Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) refuelling stations across the east coast of Australia, accelerating  involvement in the alternative fuel market for transport vehicles in Australia.

Unveiling its vision for CNG, AGL Managing Director Michael Fraser revealed at the International Truck, Trailer and Equipment Show in Melbourne that AGL would use its 176 years’ experience in energy to create a viable and competitive fuel offering for the transport industry.

 “The sixth largest country by landmass, Australia’s road transport sector is central to our economy, getting food from farms to homes and connecting businesses to markets,” Mr Fraser said.

 “The transport sector is also the second most energy intensive industry in Australia. A rising proportion of our road transport sector is also fuelled by foreign crude and fuel imports, increasing from 60 percent in 2000 to over 90 percent today.

 “Diversifying our fuel mix and building an alternative fuels industry locally, is part of the solution to developing a more resilient economy.

 “Today’s announcement represents an important step towards bolstering Australia’s alternative transport fuel capacity.  It is a step which we hope will not only help Australian businesses become more competitive and productive, but also contribute to the nation’s longer term energy security,” Mr Fraser said.

 The new public and on-site refuelling stations, which are suited for dedicated commercial trucks and vehicles, are planned to be located in key geographical areas, enabling fleets to refuel without altering their routes.   

 AGL is scheduled to develop the national CNG public refuelling infrastructure, starting in Melbourne this year.

 According to AGL’s General Manager of Business Customers and Power Development Scott Thomas, CNG is the next generation of fuel for trucks.

 Mr Thomas said AGL aimed to establish AGL Smart CNG as a long-term, viable and widely available fuel for commercial customers.

 “Australian businesses that are focused on cost effectiveness, operational efficiency and reducing environmental footprints will benefit from wider availability of CNG,” Mr Thomas said.

 CNG is on the rise globally with 120,000 Natural Gas Vehicles (NGVs) already on the road in the United States. By the end of this decade, it is forecast that 30 percent of heavy trucks in the US will shift to natural gas (both CNG and LNG) as a transport fuel.

 “In Australia, foreseeable growth in CNG refuelling infrastructure is contributing to an increase in investment from Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in CNG-compatible vehicles.

 “Natural gas transport products provide local transport operators with improved operational benefits, lower operating costs, and a proven and low emission fuel supply,” Mr Thomas said.

 Minister for Energy and Resources and Small Business Russell Northe said he was delighted to be at the launch of the latest technology in fuel energy for the trucking industry. 

"It is promising to see industry evolving with a changing economy and environment where efficiency and innovation are integral to the sustainability of the transport sector, both for large industry players such as AGL and small businesses that will benefit from more cost effective methods of transport," Mr Northe said. 

International Truck, Trailer and Equipment Show  

AGL Smart CNG was launched at the International Truck, Trailer and Equipment Show in Melbourne today by AGL Managing Director Michael Fraser and The Hon Russell Northe MP, Victorian Minister for Energy and Resources and Minister for Small Business.  The launch included a keynote address by retired Air Vice-Marshal John Blackburn AO who recently completed a NRMA-commissioned report on Australia’s liquid fuel security.

AGL’s truck show exhibit (at location BH90) features a CNG dispenser, which will be used at future public refuelling stations, as well as several CNG dedicated short-haul and rigid trucks - the Isuzu FSR 850 Medium CNG, Isuzu NLR 200 Medium CNG, Iveco Daily CNG and Mercedes-Benz Econic 2628G LL 6x4 NGT.

 AGL has already received enquiries from a number of leading Australian businesses for Alternative Fuel Strategy Workshops, and anticipates this will grow following today’s launch of AGL Smart CNG.

 Note: Images are available on request.

 About AGL

AGL is one of Australia's leading integrated renewable energy companies and is taking action toward creating a sustainable energy future for our investors, communities and customers. Drawing on over 175 years of experience, AGL operates retail and merchant energy businesses, power generation assets and an upstream gas portfolio. AGL has one of Australia's largest retail energy and dual fuel customer bases. AGL has a diverse power generation portfolio including base, peaking and intermediate generation plants, spread across traditional thermal generation as well as renewable sources including hydro, wind, landfill gas and biomass. AGL is Australia's largest private owner and operator of renewable energy assets and is looking to further expand this position by exploring a suite of low emission and renewable energy generation development opportunities.