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South Australia releases New Climate Change Strategy

09/12/2015

The South Australian Government has released the state’s new Climate Change Strategy detailing action to be undertaken by the state to reduce its emissions from the year 2015 to 2050.

South Australia’s Climate Change Strategy 2015-2050 – Towards a low carbon economy details 30 initiatives that the State has committed itself to undertaking, such as advocating for a national emissions trading scheme and decarbonising government’s electricity supply, to help the state reach its ambitious target of zero net emissions by 2050.

South Australia’s Climate Change Minister Ian Hunter said the new Climate Change Strategy sets a framework for renewed effort and action.

“The new Strategy builds on the leadership that has been demonstrated by industry, the community and government since South Australia took early and decisive action in 2007 and introduced the nation’s first climate change legislation” he said.

The new strategy comes just two months after the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources released a series of consultation papers for public comment on the state’s future climate change strategy going forward.

The South Australian Freight Council submitted on behalf of our membership and the wider transport and logistics industry. The submission can be found here.  

To kick-start their efforts, the South Australian government will roll out the Low Carbon Investment Plan, which was also just recently released. The Plan develops how South Australia will achieve $10 billion in low carbon generation by 2025.

The South Australian government by setting a target of zero net emissions by 2050 has established its intentions in being a global leader in carbon reduction. It is hoped that South Australia can realise this ambition and attract related investment, creating opportunity for local industry participation and new jobs.

South Australia’s Climate Change Strategy 2015-2050 – Towards a low carbon economy can be downloaded here.

BP Plans to Drill off SA Coast Hit Setback

08/12/2015

A proposal by BP to drill off the South Australian Coast in the Great Australian Bight has been rejected by the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA). NOPSEMA is the Commonwealth independent statutory agency, separate from the government’s management of resource promotion and allocation, set up to deal with such applications.

All offshore petroleum exploration, production and greenhouse gas activities in Commonwealth waters must meet certain provisions outlined in the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006. This act ensures that all petroleum or greenhouse gas activity is carried out in a manner consistent with the principles of ecologically sustainable development, and carried out in a manner by which the environmental impacts and risks of the activity will be reduced to as low as reasonably practicable. In accordance all proposals must be submitted to NOPSEMA.

Despite being rejected due to concerns with its environment plan, BP still has the opportunity to modify its environment plan in the hope the $1 billion deep-sea oil drilling program can get the go ahead.

BP is eager to drill in the Great Australian Bight, indicating that the region enjoys similar geology to some of the biggest hydrocarbon regions in the world such as the Niger Delta and the Mississippi Delta.

 

Location of BP's four exploration wells

 

The proposal to drill four exploration wells met heavy opposition, primarily from The Wilderness Society of South Australia. Modelling from the Society suggested that an oil spill as a result of BP activity in the Great Australian Bight could risk closing all fisheries from South Australia to Victoria and Tasmania. The South Australia’s fishing industry is valued at $442 million a year.

The Wilderness Society of South Australia further stated “it doesn’t appear that BP even completed an oil pollution emergency plan or a comprehensive risk assessment” while also stating that BP have failed to learn from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill five years ago.

While the Deepwater Horizon oil spill originated from 66km off the American coast, the BP proposal would see them drilling for oil in an area roughly 395km (213 nautical miles) west of Port Lincoln and 340km (183 nautical miles) southwest of Ceduna.

Australia’s Exclusive Economic Zone extends to 200 nautical miles.

BP confirmed their intentions to resubmit to NOPSEMA with a BP spokesperson, widely reported across Australian media, stating that “NOPSEMA is a diligent and thorough regulator and we expect to have to work hard and take the time to demonstrate that we have got our EP right.”

 

 

Six Environmental Transport Policy Papers You Should Read

02/12/2015

The International Transport Forum, an intergovernmental organisation with 57 member countries that looks to foster a deeper understanding of the role of transport in economic growth, environmental sustainability and social inclusion has released six concise analyses on critical issues for decarbonising transport for the COP21 climate change conference that took place in Paris.

The 6 papers are

  • A New Paradigm for Urban Mobility: How Fleets of Shared Vehicles Can End the Car Dependency of Cities
  • Low-Carbon Mobility for Mega Cities: What Different Policies Mean for Urban Transport Emissions in China and India
  • The Carbon Footprint of Global Trade: Tackling Emissions from International Freight Transport
  • Reducing CO2 Emissions from International Aviation: Policy Options to 2050
  • Carbon Valuation for Transport Policy: Towards a More Coherent International Approach
  • Adapting Transport Infrastructure to Climate Change: How to Protect Assets Against Increased Risks from Extreme Weather

Those from a freight background are recommended to check out The Carbon Footprint of Global Trade. Worryingly the paper predicts that CO2 emissions from global freight transport are set to increase fourfold. In 2010 they recorded 2,108 Mt of CO2 equivalent emissions produced from trade-related international freight but are predicting that by 2050 this figure will have grown to 8,132 Mt.

The paper proceeds to explain their methodology for calculating future emissions and analyses the impact predicted longer supply chains, the impact of trade liberalisation and other scenarios will have in increasing emissions related to transport and logistics activity.

The six papers can be accessed at http://www.internationaltransportforum.org/jtrc/environment/COP21.html

ICS says Shipping Industry to Cut Emissions by 50% by 2050

26/11/2015

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has predicted that the shipping industry will realise a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050 (on 2000 levels). The principal international trade association representing ship owners and based in London, UK has said bigger ships, with better engines and smarter speed management with many using clean fuels such as LNG will contribute to this significant reduction.

The ICS timed their comments in the run up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in December. While nations throughout the world will come to Paris to negotiate ways to reduce global carbon emissions the ICS stresses that the maritime shipping industry has already made huge strides in addressing emissions.

Through the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) shipping is the only international industry which has already implemented worldwide policies and regulations to reduce emissions. The IMO set in 2013 a mandatory target where all ships built from 2025 onwards must be 30 percent more efficient than ships built in the 2000s.

While in Paris countries will look to construct a follow-up to the Kyoto Protocol, it is worth noting that almost 70 percent of merchant ships are based in countries not signed up to the Kyoto Protocol. While the Kyoto Protocol only commits countries to land-based CO2 reductions it can illustrate a country’s intentions in reducing its emissions. However, through the IMO some 95 percent of international merchant ships are bound to their regulations and this has been a large contributing factor to the success of the shipping industry in reducing their CO2 emissions by 10% since 2007.

The ICS reports that these emissions reductions are represented across the global shipping sector and promisingly includes developing countries as well as more developed countries.

One of the more immediate steps for the IMO in tackling climate change is to start the collection of CO2 emission from all individual ships. The ICS says the IMO has their backing for this measure and would like to see it mandatory by 2018.

However, the potential for the shipping industry to reduce their emissions by 50% by 2050 has been critiqued by Belgian based Transport & Environment (T&E). The environmental group has said the ICS’s figures are overly optimistic.

In particular T&E said if the shipping industry was able to reduce individual ship’s emissions by 50% due to technological advancements amongst other measures, emissions could rise further if the global shipping fleet expands rapidly as many have predicted.

The ICS looking into the future has said that it expects supply chains to shorten as more emerging economies develop and that they don’t see the tonne/km demand for maritime transport to increase at the same rate as it had prior to 2007 and the GFC.

The ICS references a 2014 study by the IMO in saying that the industry has reduced its emissions by 10% since 2007 and that the industry now only counts for 2.2 percent of the world’s CO2 emissions, in comparison to the 2.8 percent it accounted for in 2007.

T&E has used the same IMO report "Green House Gas Study" to illustrate the unlikelihood of the industry achieving 50% reductions in emissions by 2050. T&E point out that the document states that the overall emissions from the shipping industry could actually increase by as much as 250% by 2050, taking both growth and technological advancement into consideration.

The International Chamber of Shipping’s Annual Review for 2015 can be found at http://www.ics-shipping.org/docs/default-source/resources/policy-tools/ics-annual-review-2015.pdf?sfvrsn=10

South Australia Releases Roadmap to Develop State’s Bioenergy Industry

25/11/2015

The South Australian Government has recently released a report that aims to identify opportunities for the state to develop its bioenergy industry.

The report ‘A Bioenergy Roadmap for South Australia’ was developed by Jacobs, under commission by the state government, to analyse the potential for bioenergy throughout the South Australia. As well as the accompanying report Jacobs have developed spatial data to identify potential ‘hotspots’ for the production of bioenergy.

Bioenergy, which is developed from localised and regional waste resources and purpose grown feedstock such as woody weeds, corn and algae, is being touted as a future sustainable supply of energy.

In addressing climate change issues, the state continues to actively seek ways to reduce its emissions associated with energy production. Despite the merits of wind and solar energy it is acknowledged that a wide and diverse range of technologies and fuels will be required to provide energy throughout South Australia at all times and to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.

Due to ongoing limitations with energy storage and fluctuating weather conditions, electricity produced from wind and solar may not be always reliable to supply energy in times of high demands. As a result, electricity from bioenergy could be used as another sustainable and environmentally friendly option to power the state’s power requirements during peak times.

Though the bio-energy industry is in its infancy within South Australia Bio-energy is already used in a number of locations throughout the state including various SA Water Adelaide wastewater treatment plants.

The Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis on discussing the findings of the report said "it shows the most prospective area for bioenergy is Penola and Mount Gambier, while purpose-grown biomass crops are best suited to the areas of Peake, Naracoorte, Elliston, Spalding and Cummins."

While the report largely concentrates on electricity generation it does touch on the potential to develop liquid bio-fuels that could be used as a substitute for diesel and petrol in certain engines. However, in its recommendations it does not include the transport and logistics industry as one that could benefit or expand from available opportunities. The released roadmap is the first stage in further developing South Australia’s bio-energy industry so future developments may discuss the opportunity to transport and logistics in more detail.

The document mentions two South Australian programs already creating biofuels. ARfuels in Largs Bay (as well as two other interstate facilities) is currently utilising tallow and used cooking oil to produce 45 ML of bio-diesel per annum. While a pilot program has been setup in Whyalla looking to produce biofuels from algae.

For more information see http://www.renewablessa.sa.gov.au/investor-information/bio-energy-roadmap

Calculate Energy Savings with LED Lights

18/11/2015

LED Eco Lighting have released a new calculator which enables you to work out the benefits, both for the environment and your wallet, of making the switch to LED Lights.

With the ever increasing production of LED Lights, the initial cost is slowly but surely dropping as demand increases. We all want to make things better for the environment, but until recently the initial outlay for good quality LED lights has been somewhat inhibiting for the average household to make the switch.

But now, more and more people are realising that an LED light will last for as long as 25 years. Meaning that you can replace all the bulbs in your house once, then forget about it for a quarter of a century.

Sounds great, but what about the payback of the initial cost in ongoing energy savings? Well, it all depends on how much you use your lights. As an example, if you replaced 4 100W downlight reflectors with the equivalent 4  7x2W LED downlights that normally burnt for about 6 hours each day, you would cover your costs in about 2.4 years. Given the 25 year lifespan, that's pretty impressive.

But what about the actual energy and dollar savings? Well, in this example, each year the LED Lights would save you about $118 and would save the environment about 419 kg's in carbon emissions.

The calculator allows you to select a type of LED product, then shows the comparable Halogen equivalent. Then you key in the quantity of this particular type of LED light, how many hours per day they are used and that's it. The calculator will then show the detail for both types including: the total power consumption per day, daily and yearly running cost and savings, daily and yearly carbon emissions and savings, total maintenance and running costs, yearly and total savings, and finally the payback time for your investment.

The latest update of the calculator makes it accurate to March 2011 prices for an Australian market.

Whether you jump in now or cautiously wait it out a little longer, the end result is that if you switch to LED lights, you will save money and you will benefit the environment, not to mention having fantastic lighting in your home.

BP Need to Redo Plans to Drill in the Great Australian Bight

18/11/2015

On 16 November 2015, the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) made a decision that it was not satisfied that BP’s environment plan for exploration drilling in the Great Australian Bight had met regulatory requirements.

After a thorough and rigorous assessment, NOPSEMA has determined that the environment plan does not yet meet the criteria for acceptance under the environment regulations, and has advised BP of this decision.

NOPSEMA is required by law to provide BP with a reasonable opportunity to modify the environment plan. If BP chooses to resubmit a modified plan, it will then be assessed by NOPSEMA.

The environment regulations and NOPSEMA's assessment policies, clearly outline the environment plan assessment process including timeframes for resubmission and the number of times modification and/or additional information may be required.

 

Previously NOPSEMA has advised BP Developments Australia Pty Ltd (BP) that it would be taking additional time to reach an initial decision on a proposal to undertake exploration drilling in the Great Australian Bight.

On 1 October 2015, BP submitted an environment plan proposing exploration drilling in the Great Australian Bight to NOPSEMA for assessment.

The proposed drilling program has attracted significant community interest.

“The environmental assessment process requires BP to undertake a comprehensive risk assessment and clearly demonstrate to NOPSEMA how they will manage the environmental impacts and risks of their proposed activity in order for their environment plan to be accepted” said NOPSEMA Chief Executive Officer Stuart Smith.

“Ensuring that BP has considered and addressed stakeholder concerns is an important part of NOPSEMA’s environmental assessment process.”

“The environment plan must also include a comprehensive oil pollution emergency plan that outlines the detailed arrangements that will be in place to respond to and monitor any environmental impacts in the unlikely event of an oil spill.”

Mr Smith advised that “BP’s environment plan is currently being assessed by NOPSEMA’s dedicated environmental assessment team, which is staffed by highly qualified and experienced environmental and oil spill response experts.”

“The law requires NOPSEMA to notify the titleholder of its initial decision within 30 days of any environment plan submission.”

“That notification may involve NOPSEMA determining that additional time is required to consider the environment plan.”

“In this instance, BP has been informed that NOPSEMA will require additional time to assess the submission.”

“The law allows NOPSEMA to take as much time as required to ensure a professional, thorough and rigorous assessment” concluded Mr Smith.

MFB to hose down emissions with new fleet of Scania Euro 6 pumpers

17/11/2015

A new ultra-large pumper stars in the MFB’s new fleet of ultra-clean Scania Euro 6 compliant heavy pumper-tankers.

 

Melbourne’s Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services Board will take the lead among emergency services and truck fleets in general in Australia, when a new fleet of Euro 6 emissions compliant vehicles supplied by Scania arrives early in the New Year.

The MFB has ordered 8 Euro 6-compliant Scania vehicles, 6 of which will be built up into heavy pumper-tankers, with one a prototype of a future ultra-large pumper, and the other carrying a Bronto aerial platform.

As such the MFB would be the operator of the largest fleet of Euro 6 compliant trucks in Australia, while the ACT’s public transport operator, ACTION, continues as the overall largest operator of Euro 6 vehicles, with 77 Scania Euro 6-compliant buses in service.

The MFB has a heritage of leadership in reducing emissions. It was the first to adopt Euro 5 emission compliance as soon as it became available within the era of the Euro 4 mandate several years ago.

"Scania is committed to providing ‘best in class’ environmentally sustainable solutions to government and commercial customers," says Shane Griffin, Scania National Manager for Specialist Vehicles.

"We are the Australian market leaders in the provision of the widest range of Euro 6 compliant engines, giving more truck and bus operators the ability to select the cleanest emission options immediately.

"The MFB has a long history of commitment to operating the most environmentally-friendly vehicles on the market.

"We offered the Euro 6 option to the MFB during the most recent tender and they were very keen to adopt the technology for the new 370 hp and 410 hp pumpers," he says.

These vehicles will be fitted with Scania’s legendary 6-cylinder engines that are renowned for their fuel-efficiency and performance.

"The new vehicles are additional units for the MFB fleet, providing improved coverage for the metropolitan area," Shane says.

"One of the 8 new vehicles is the prototype of an ultra-large pumper, which will be built by SEM in Wendouree, Ballarat. It will be powered by the new 410 hp Euro 6, 6-cylinder engine, using a 6x4 chassis configuration. This vehicle could spawn multiple copies in the future.

"Six of the other Euro 6 heavy pumper-tankers are being built by Fraser Fire and

Rescue in New Zealand, based on the P 370 6x4 chassis," Shane says.

The final new Euro 6 machine is a Bronto aerial platform powered by a 410 hp engine on an 8x4 configuration chassis.

The vehicles are expected to be delivered and go into service between February and April 2016.

According to Stuart Collis, Fleet Development Manager for Melbourne’s MFB, the choice of Scania vehicles is driven by several factors. One of which is that the MFB continues to desire the most environmentally friendly equipment available, which now includes adding Euro 6-compliant vehicles to the fleet during the normal replacement cycle.

"There’s both an Occupational Health and Safety and a Social Responsibility aspect to this, as well," he says.

"Every day, the trucks are driven inside buildings, which are uniquely both work-places and residences for the MFB’s operational men and women. The health and welfare of fire-fighters is taken seriously at all times," he says.

"Reduced particulates and the cleaner exhausts offered by Euro 6 compliance are better for everyone in our community," Stuart says.

Scania’s compliance with the stricter Swedish safety regulations also helped swing the MFB’s choice to Scania.

"Having airbags in the cabin, more safety features, better steps, more handles for getting in and out of the truck, they all make the new trucks easier and safer to work with for crews. They are just better ergonomic solutions," Stuart says.

A long-standing relationship with Scania’s local team is also important.

"Servicing, parts, anything to do with the trucks has proven to be problem-free," he says.

"In the busy urban environment, the MFB’s staff needs to be 100% confident that their appliances will be 100% reliable, 100% of the time," Stuart says.

"Scania has strong working relationships with every major fire and rescue organisation in Australia," Shane Griffin says.

"We have upwards of 650 fire and rescue vehicles in service around the country, many of which have been on duty for more than a decade and some are expected to serve out 20 years or more.

"This underlines our core values of reliability and durability and our organisation’s commitment and ability to keep older vehicles in prime condition for protecting the community when disaster strikes. Another key benefit is that emergency crews just love driving their Scanias.

"In the past we have focussed on the heavy end of the fire and rescue market, but in recent times we have begun to supply medium-duty pumpers to the Victorian CFA. We expect to supply further examples of these more flexible vehicles more widely into the future," Shane says.

 

Euro 6 technology in brief

Euro 6 provides a drastic reduction in particulate emission levels compared to Euro 5.

Emissions of nitrogen oxides and particulates are around one-fifth of those for Euro 5 engines.

A new element in emission testing is that the particles also need to be counted, which in practice means that the actual particulate emissions will be around one-sixth of Euro 5.

"All our development work was performed in-house at Scania," says Jonas Hofstedt, Senior Vice President, Powertrain at Scania.

"We combined all the new technologies that Scania has developed in recent years: exhaust gas recirculation, variable turbo geometry, common-rail high-pressure fuel injection, selective catalytic reduction and particulate filtering.

Add to that our own engine and exhaust management technology, which has now been integrated into one system.

"We have spared no effort to avoid fuel penalties on these engines. Operators will find that fuel economy, driveability and engine response are fully on a par with our Euro 5 engines," he says.

Euro 6 is the first step towards the implementation of world harmonized emission standards, encompassing Europe, North America and Japan, and this will facilitate coordination and development for future standards.

 

Scania EGR + SCR emissions treatments

In the Scania Euro 6 engines that use both EGR+SCR after-treatments to achieve compliance, the two processes are continuously balanced to optimise emission performance.

Typically, around 50% of NOx emissions are eliminated at source by the EGR system and another 95% in the SCR catalysts and the particulate filter reduces particulate emissions by 99%.

The Scania integrated silencer is an exceptionally compact insulated unit containing an oxidation catalyst and a full-flow particulate filter, followed by two parallel SCR catalysts and ammonium slip catalysts.

Scania has developed a new electrically actuated AdBlue dosage system for higher precision, greater robustness and airless operation. AdBlue is injected into a mixer (patented by Scania) and evaporates into urea before entering the two parallel SCR catalysts.

Next in line is a compact and efficient ammonium-slip catalyst to remove any ammonium left in the exhaust flow. The evaporation route is extremely short, making it easy to maintain the required temperature. New temperature, pressure and NOx sensors monitor the system for optimum performance and control.

Using two sensors, the pressure differential is monitored across the integrated particulate filter to assess the degree of contamination and, hence, the need for regeneration.

Regeneration takes place continuously during driving. If the filter continues to clog with soot, the driver will get recommendations in the central instrument cluster. A switch is provided in case a stationary regeneration cycle should be required.

The particulate filter needs to be cleaned at regular intervals. It is detachable from the silencer unit, which is mounted on a swing-out attachment with two bolts for easy maintenance and replacement of the filter cartridge.

Maintenance intervals are the same as for Scania’s 13-litre Euro 5 EGR engines,

i.e. up to 90,000 km (120,000 km at max. 36 tonnes GVW), depending on application.

The compact design of the silencer unit means that it does not take up more space on the frame than the Euro 5 design (EGR or SCR). The modular design makes it readily adaptable to suit different bodywork installations.

 

Euro 6 Emission standards

Nitrogen oxides: 0.4 g/kWh (2 g/kWh for Euro 5).

Particulate matter: 0.01 g/kWh (0.02/0.03 depending on test cycle for Euro 5).

Particulate count: 6.00 x 1011 particles/kWh (transient test cycle).

8.00 x 1011 particles/kWh (stationary test cycle).

This amounts to 600 or 800 billion particles per kWh. One kWh corresponds to the energy consumed during approx. 30s of driving for a 40-tonne combination at highway speed.

There is no counting requirement for Euro 5, but the reduction in the number of particulates is likely to be around 99% for Euro 6 compliance.

ABS Release New Study on Road Freight Movement

17/11/2015

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released a statistical update on the movement of freight by road across Australia for the first time in 11 years. The Road Freight Movement Survey provides estimates from the 12 months to the 31st of October 2014 about the size and characteristics of the road freight task throughout the nation for rigid and articulated trucks. The information is designed to assist decision makers in the development of transport policies.

 

National Figures

In total there was an estimated 2,132 million tonnes of freight moved throughout Australian roads with 195,619 million tonne-kilometres been undertaken.

New South Wales dominates the nation in freight movement. The state saw the highest amount of total-tonne kilometres travelled on roads by articulated and rigid trucks originating in a state – 50,632 million tonne kilometres (25.9% of the national total).

Of total tonne-kilometres travelled, 87.3% of freight was destined for either New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia. 

General Freight was the type of freight that accounted for the most tonne-kilometres throughout Australia (43,759 million). This was followed by Food (30,544 million) and Sand, Stone and Gravel (18,614 million).

C:\fakepath\ABS Road Freight Movement Survey

South Australia Figures

South Australia was responsible for 7.2% of all freight (measured in tonnes) carried throughout Australia (153,024,400 tonnes out of the national 2,131,703,800 tonnes). Out of this 153 million – 142,063,700 tonnes was estimated to have been entirely carried within the South Australian road network.

South Australia was responsible for 8.8% of the nation’s total freight tonne-kilometres (17.2 billion out of 195.6 billion tonne kms).

Victoria is South Australia’s largest trading partner in relation to road transport for both incoming and outgoing freight. In total South Australia exported 7.2 million tonnes of goods to Victoria and imported 6.2 million tonnes of freight originating in Victoria. In total South Australia imported 9.5 million tonnes of freight by road originating in other states and exported 10.9 million tonnes of road freight to other states which originated from within South Australia.

In terms of the trucks used to carry this freight – 15.4% of articulated trucks (whose journey originated in South Australia) were first purchased in 1998 or earlier. This figure rises to 16.3% for rigid trucks.

While information exists from the last survey 11 years ago to see how the flow of freight may have changed or how the total amount of freight carried may have differed, the ABS note that they have since changed their methodology for estimating the freight carry and advice those interested not to directly compare the figures from the two surveys.

 

More information on the Road Freight Movement Survey can be found at http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/9223.0.

Australian Government Backs Low Emissions Vehicles

11/11/2015

The Australian Government is providing incentives for Australians to purchase low emissions vehicles, as part of a new $50 million programme funded through the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

The programme is targeting corporate and government fleet buyers, as well as not-for-profit organisations. With an estimated 450,000 fleet vehicles on the road today, this represents a major share of the cars and vehicles on Australia’s roads.

More efficient fleets can reduce emissions as well as reduce operating costs, achieving productivity and environmental gains.

Light vehicles are a major contributor to Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions.

This work will build on the success to date in helping to meet and beat Australia’s 2020 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target and in working towards our 26 to 28 per cent 2030 target.

While improving fuel efficiency can mean higher upfront costs for car buyers, analysis by ClimateWorks indicates the average car owner would recover these additional costs within three years through fuel savings – well within the average length of vehicle ownership of about five years. The broader economic benefits are also tangible. Within 10 years, Australia could save up to $7.9 billion per year through reduced fuel use from the increased adoption of low emissions vehicles, according to ClimateWorks.

The $50 million CEFC funding package is being provided through the Eclipx Group – one of Australia’s largest independent fleet leasing companies. It will provide Eclipx’s corporate, government and not-for-profit fleet buyers with access to favourable loan interest rates when choosing eligible low emissions passenger and light commercial vehicles.

In order to be eligible for the CEFC finance, Eclipx customers must ensure the vehicles meet a CO2 emissions threshold that is 20 per cent below the most recently published Australian averages for new passenger and light commercial vehicles.

Because of the number of vehicles within their operations, Australian fleet buyers and lessees can play a key role in increasing the proportion of low emissions vehicles on our roads, as well as the adoption of new solutions such as electric and fuel cell vehicles.

Northline sponsors Adelaide University Solar Racing Team

21/10/2015

Northline is proud to announce its sponsorship of the Adelaide University Solar Racing Team (AUSRT) who are competing in the 2015 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. The AUSRT commenced its journey from Darwin to Adelaide on Sunday the 18th of October and will involve their car named “Lumen” travelling over a seven day period covering just over 3000 km in the process.

The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge has been running every second year since 1987 and has been continually pushing the boundaries of solar power and energy efficiency as well as the capabilities of everyday vehicle technology. This year marks the first that Adelaide University has entered a vehicle with a team of 23 final year Mechanical Engineering Honours students designing the car over the past two years.

Northline was more than happy to contribute its services to provide transportation of the solar car from Adelaide to its depot in East Arm, Darwin. This was an opportunity to showcase how existing technology supports the research and development of advanced automotive technologies, such as solar energy, energy management and alternatives to conventional vehicle engines.

The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge also follows the North-South route, which is close to the heart of Northline as it is where the company began in 1983.

 

Article from northline.com.au

SAFC’s “Sustainable Freight” website improves access to environmental resources

21/10/2015

A new website aimed to provide easy access to ‘green freight’ information for SA’s $8 billion a year transport and logistics industry has been unveiled.

The site is designed to act as a conduit between the freight and logistics industry (and its customers), relevant environmental and sustainability resources, Governments and the general public.

The website Sustainable Freight (www.sustainablefreight.com.au) was officially launched by the South Australian Freight Council at their inaugural national conference that also saw Senator Nick Xenophon and Minister for Cities and the Built Environment Jamie Briggs present.

The new website reflects SAFC’s ongoing commitment to addressing environmental issues and promoting a "whole of chain" approach to the environment, across the transport and logistics industry and across the modes.

The South Australian Freight Council acknowledges that the interaction, impact and relationship of transport and logistics with the environment is significant at a local, national and international level and cannot be ignored.

SAFC CEO, Neil Murphy, said "It is clear that the environment plays an increasing role in transport and logistics and that some concerted action needs to be taken within the freight industry".

"As population and economic activity grows, so too does the freight task, and with it the impacts that freight has on the environment.

"As a result SAFC believes that the industry has a responsibility to become more sustainable and reduce those negative externalities.

"Whilst there is much debate about the impacts the transport and logistics industry is having on the environment and whether these impacts can or should be mitigated, it is clear that the environment is increasingly becoming part of the ongoing transport and logistics narrative and that proactive sustainability measures must be introduced" Mr Murphy said.

SAFC’s Sustainable Supply Chains Management Team developed the Sustainable Freight website as a "one-stop shop" to support industry’s efforts to reduce their emissions by improving access to transport and logistics sustainability and environmental information and resources

The website also hosts a suite of original resources designed to help companies of all shapes and sizes – from Mum and Dad operations to large multinational corporations across the entire supply chain – to reduce their emissions.

The site contains an array of case studies, policy and regulation guides, fact sheets, latest news and comments, multiple interactive carbon calculators and comparison tools for use throughout your supply chain, as well documents aimed at assisting companies to make environmentally based decisions such as the Decision Makers Guide, Perform an Environmental Benchmark, and the Emission Reductions on a Modest Budget documents.

In addition, Sustainable Freight promotes the industry’s green initiatives, and raises awareness of the role and importance of freight transport to the economy, with the aim of dispelling the ‘dirty’ image many perceive the transport and logistics industry to be.

Mr Murphy said "There is a need to educate people about the industry and highlight some of the initiatives already being utilised by the industry to reduce overall emissions.

"We think some of our members deserve more credit and recognition for the ways in which they are integrating sustainability into their everyday business practices, especially as it is not always easily discernible when looking from the outside."

The Sustainable Freight website can be accessed free of charge at www.sustainablefreight.com.au

Scania unveils Biodiesel-Electric Hybrid

20/10/2015

Scania has now begun a comprehensive launch of a full range of products with alternative fuels and powertrains for Euro 6.  

The highlight of the programme is a Scania-developed hybrid truck for urban distribution combining electric and biodiesel operation; other engines run on gas and biogas, biodiesel, bioethanol and HVO (hydrotreated vegetable oil).  

“No matter what driving conditions are like or what local circumstances are, there is always an alternative solution available from Scania, right here and now,” claims Magnus Höglund, responsible for alternative fuels and powertrains at Scania Trucks.  

“We are now demonstrating to all types of transport players that they can reduce their CO2 footprint very simply, without giving up anything or incurring significantly higher costs.”  

The hybrid solution, developed by Scania itself, allows an 18-tonne distribution truck to operate solely on electric power for up to 2 km.  

Electric operation is primarily intended for situations where other solutions don’t measure up: for example, city distribution at night in noise sensitive areas or driving through warehouses and car parks where exhaust fumes are not welcome.  

Electric power is combined with Scania’s 9-litre Euro 6 engine with 320 hp, which can be operated on 100 percent biodiesel, such as FAME or HVO. With this latter fuel, CO2 can be reduced by as much as 92 percent.  

“It’s a very special experience to drive a heavy truck when the only sound comes from the hissing of tires against asphalt and a mild breeze,” explains Höglund.  

“What we’re seeing here is the beginning of a revolution that will make a big difference. Silent and partly exhaust-emission-free trucks can do a better job in cities at night with goods distribution, cleaning, waste collection and other city maintenance tasks. Hybridisation can also lead to a higher utilisation of every single vehicle when the range of uses expands.” Scania was the first manufacturer to sell and deliver Euro 6 engines, the highest emission classification in Europe, which makes a huge difference when it comes to reducing emissions.  

Scania was also the first to market a complete engine range based on three different biodiesel platforms, which can provide up to 65 percent CO2 reduction when using FAME fuel.  

Moreover, in 2015 Scania gave the green light for using HVO in existing Euro 5 and Euro 6 engines. This renewable biodiesel fuel can yield up to 90 percent reduction in CO2 emissions.  

“This product launch provides our customers – as well as their customers, who are often the driving force when it comes to environmental aspects – with unsurpassable choices of alternative fuels for their business,” adds Höglund.  

“The biodiesel engines range from 250 to 580 hp and are suitable for everything from light service to really heavy operations. And our introduction of a 280 hp ED95 engine for Euro 6 is unique in our industry. From an environmental perspective, bioethanol is an unusually smart, inexpensive and easy-to-handle alternative fuel that is also readily available in large quantities.”

South Australia prepares new Climate Change Strategy

12/10/2015

The South Australian government through the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) is in the process of developing a new climate change strategy that will outline the State's plan to achieve a low carbon future.  

To progress their strategy the State Government has released a series of consultation papers for comment. A copy of the original Consultation Papers can be accessed at http://yoursay.sa.gov.au/decisions/yoursay-engagements-climate-change-strategy-for-south-australia/about.   

SAFC on behalf of our membership and the wider transport and logistics industry is in the process of submitting on the consultation papers. Whilst SAFC appreciates the efforts the South Australian government is undertaking to develop a new Climate Change Strategy for South Australia, we would like to see greater efforts by the state government to partner with the transport and logistics industry in this State to collaboratively progress the development of supportive policies that can help the industry reduce its emissions.  

While the primary focus of the consultation papers appears to centre around low carbon energy generation SAFC believes the State Government will be required to work with every industry and facet of the South Australian economy to reduce overall carbon intensity if the State is to be successful in its ambitious goal to reduce its emissions by at least 60% of 1990 levels by the end of 2050.  

The consultation papers note that South Australia has been successful in achieving emission reductions while still achieving economic growth between the years 1989/90 to 2012/13. However by its very nature increased productivity (to support the overall national economy) will result in the freight industry increasing its emission output.  According to the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics, by 2030 total container movements through Australian ports are projected to be approximately 2.5 times the volume handled in 2010, the total national road freight task is projected to be 1.8 times its 2010 level and the total national rail freight task is project to be more than 1.9 times its 2010 level.  

Under a business as usual scenario this will continue to expand the emission outputs from Australia’s transport and logistics industry – and the industry will fail in its part to help contribute to Australia’s new emission reduction targets of 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 or South Australia's target of 60% below 1990 levels by 2050. Already it is estimated that between 2007 and 2020 emissions from articulated trucks will grow by 45%, while emissions from the rail, maritime and aviation sector will grow by 39%, 17% and 30% respectively.

While road freight vehicles are responsible for only approximately 3.5% of national emissions it would be remiss of the State Government to not plan to address every emission reduction potential throughout the economy.   In the absence of any revolutionary technology that could significantly reduce the freight transport industry's emissions, the state government must be prepared to accept that the freight transport industry will continue to produce significant greenhouse gas emissions into the future unless the State Government illustrate greater insight and collaboration in developing policies and regulations that support the industry in its attempt to reduce overall emissions.  

Subsequently, care needs to be taken to ensure any future policy or regulation aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions by the transport and logistics sector proactively supports efforts to reduce their emissions and does not reactively penalise the industry for producing emissions. The freight industry would unlikely be financially able to absorb any increase in operating costs which would be expected to be passed onto the sector's customers, thereby impacting negatively on economic growth and increasing prices in the market. 

 SAFC is encouraged to see the state government suggest that it could help the private sector lower its emissions by assuming a role to "de-risk investments or facilitate finance in addition to current programs and activities" (Innovate consultation paper, p.10). Along this line of thinking SAFC raises one possibility for consideration.  Australia's truck and locomotive fleet is (on average) old, and getting older. The Truck Industry Council in 2013 placed the average age of heavy duty trucks at 13.84 years. This is in comparison to the US with an average age of almost 7 years. Western Europe, Canada and Japan fall between an average of 5 to 9 years, and despite the growing freight task the average truck age in Australia is rising. While the average age of the trucks is not so much the issue but the high percentage of the fleet that were purchased before the introduction of more stringent Australian Design Rules on heavy vehicles (pre-1996). Before 1996 there were no limits on certain emissions such as NOx or PM levels that could be emitted from heavy vehicles. SAFC calculations place approximately 30% - 35% of the nation's current trucking fleet as having none of the stringent emission standards that have been progressively introduced since 1996.  

To facilitate the much needed modernisation of the nation's trucking fleet (as well as ageing locomotives) SAFC believes that freight vehicle fleet replacement can be incentivised through the introduction of an Accelerated Depreciation Scheme. SAFC argue this would create significant environmental benefits as well as a number of other health and social benefits throughout the state.  By supporting an accelerated depreciation scheme, most likely implemented at the Federal level through the Commonwealth tax system the State Government will be contributing to increased demand for depreciable prime movers and expand  an operator's financial capability to acquire them.    

An accelerated depreciation scheme therefore has the potential to influence the optimum replacement cycle for depreciable assets, encouraging the early replacement of older, less environmentally friendly transport assets, and therefore increases vehicle replacement investment rates. This could be expected to have a positive impact on the profitability of individual operators (through the introduction of more modern and efficient equipment) as well as simultaneously delivering positive benefits for the broader economy and the environment.  At the very least SAFC contends that such a scheme merits further study.   

SAFC highlights this potential scheme as just one way the state government can support the transport and logistics industry reduce their emissions and therefore actively contribute towards the state's emission reduction targets. However such opportunities are only to be discovered if the transport and logistics industry is further engaged by the state government in the development of future policy and regulation. 

Truck Industry Council’s National Truck Plan to Modernise Australia’s Trucking Fleet

16/09/2015

The Truck Industry Council has recently updated its National Truck Plan to support the modernisation of the Australian trucking fleet through a proposed government incentive scheme.

SAFC strongly supports the Truck Industry Council’s proposition to provide the road transport industry an added government incentive to promote the greater rollout of more efficient and environmentally friendly trucks.

Under the National Road Safety Strategy 2011-2020 the Federal Government is obliged to actively investigate incentives to modernise the nation’s trucking fleet and TIC’s “The Ageing of the Australian Truck Fleet: Implications and Opportunities” document more than adequately details benefits that merit  government investigation.

It is of great importance that Australia continues to reduce the noxious emissions resulting from road transport such as NOx and Particulate Matter emissions through investing in more modern, efficient and ‘greener’ equipment. The commercial decision whether to buy new equipment is driven by a company’s bottom line and as the average age of Australia’s trucking fleet in fact is growing it suggests that the industry does not have the resources to invest in more ‘greener’, efficient vehicles to the detriment of the economy and the health of local communities particularly those in urban areas.

 The latest ABS Motor Vehicle Census finds that 43% of heavy rigid trucks and 28% of articulated trucks were first purchased in 1998 or earlier. This would imply that a significant percentage of Australia’s trucking fleet do not meet any stringent emission standards that have been introduced progressively since 1996 via Australian Design Rules.

According to the Truck Industry Council this is having a significant negative impact on the community. In 2013 the Trucking Industry Council looked to calculate the savings associated with a more modern trucking fleet (one with an average age of 8 years, with only 5% or less trucks purchased pre-1996). They found that Australian governments could save $1.97 billion through avoided health costs associated with noxious emissions. Furthermore avoided fatalities due to newer, safer trucks operating on our roads would result in an estimated saving of $164 million, and reduced carbon dioxide emissions could save $564 million (all savings in 2014 dollars). The big winner perhaps though would be the transport and logistics industry itself with a potential saving from reduced operating costs of $2.96 billion.

Calculations undertaken by SAFC have illustrated that if the industry was successful in eliminating all pre-1996 registered heavy rigid and articulated trucks and replacing them with ADR 80/03 compliant ones then Australia could reduce the amount of NOx produced by heavy rigid and articulated trucks by 53% and from Particulate Matter by 79% (assuming all trucks travel an equal distance regardless of age).

SAFC too has been active in calling for a similar incentive system. SAFC in the past has called for the Federal Government to consider introducing an Accelerated Depreciation for Freight Vehicle Scheme. Similarly SAFC believe such a system will bring forward the replacement of obsolete equipment (which will deliver operational, safety and environmental benefits).

Undoubtedly such an incentive scheme would result in reduced government revenue, as accelerated depreciation is a kin to an interest free loan which allows a deferral of tax payments with no increase in the interest due. However SAFC believe such a system would replace outdated trucks with more modern trucks and in the end would result in a significant saving to government through the areas highlighted by the Truck Industry Council.

Other countries have shown they are able to achieve this. In comparison to Australia about 40% of German trucks meet Euro V or ADR 80/03 standards (only 12.5% of Australian trucks meet these standards). The German trucking industry has been able to achieve one of the most efficient and ‘green’ trucking fleets in the world because the Federal German government has been proactive in providing incentives to the industry. The German government has subsidised the purchase of new trucks over 12 tonnes since 2007. Previously the subsidy covered around 50% of the difference between Euro IV and Euro V trucks to encourage operators to purchase a more environmentally sound truck.

The German transport and logistics industry is further incentivised to purchase more modern trucks as they are charged a toll according to their engine emission standards on the nation’s Autobahn and a sizeable percentage of their highway network.

Similarly TIC’s proposal includes a change to the charging of the industry’s Road User Charge, which they believe should be varied by the emission standards of that truck (in which the fuel tax credit is lowered for older trucks). This could provide a similar incentive that has produced success in Germany.

TIC's document can be downloaded here.

 

 

 

 

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US truck greenhouse gas and fuel efficiency proposed standard released

16/09/2015

In the United States the US Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration are working on producing greenhouse gas and fuel efficiency standards for medium and heavy-duty trucks. The new standards that make up the Heavy-Duty National Program are to cover model years 2021 to 2027 and are the next phase (Phase 2) to cover greenhouse gas and fuel efficiency standards for the trucking industry. The EPA and the NHTSA have previously come together to develop the first phase of the standards which is midway through its implementation (2014-2018)

The proposed standards are to be met through the wider development of existing and advanced technologies that shall be achievable and affordable to implement by the standards introduction. Under the proposed standards the fuel consumption of a tractor trailer should drop by up to 24%.

Under the lifetime of the vehicles the standards will be inforce for it is predicted to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about one billion metric tonnes and to save 284 billion litres of fuel.

The American Trucking Associations has expressed their support for the measures and indicated it meets 14 of their 15 preferred guiding principles for for evaluating future emissions standards.

However the organisation has expressed concern that the standards could create pressure for potential fuel-saving technologies to be installed on vehicles before they are fully tested.

Furthermore according to the ATA their members would like to see the technology which is expected to add US$10,000 to US$12,000 to the price of a truck be recuperated within 18 to 24 months. According to the EPA and the NHTSA the costs will be recouped by 2 years for a tractor/trailer combo but other vehicles such as pick-ups or vans would take longer at about three years.

Despite the additional cost to purchase a new truck under these standards according to the EPA and NHTSA the benefits to society (including the road transport industry) outweigh costs over the lifetime of the vehicles by a ratio of 10:1.

American President Barack Obama has requested the standards be finalised by March next year.

 

Gaseous Fuels for Transport and Heavy Machinery Working Group - 12th August

16/09/2015

Following a recommendation by the South Australian State Government’s Roadmap for Oil and Gas Projects a ‘Gaseous Fuels for Transport and Heavy Machinery’ working group has been established to investigate ways to increase the states uptake of commercial gas fuels.

The new working group, working group #7 of the wider Unconventional Gas Interest Group, held its inaugural meeting in Adelaide on the 27th of May.

According to the group’s webpage gaseous fuels for transport and heavy machinery have had limited uptake due to a lack of cohesive policy and investment frameworks.

The working group has set three aims for 2015;

  • To develop a Terms of Reference,
  • Identify barriers to investment and market update in gaseous fuels, and
  • To determine opportunities to remove barriers across industry and government.

It is hoped following this process the working group can help establish an appropriate framework that considers infrastructure, market drivers, engine technology and best practise regulatory environments to stimulate the update of LNG, CNG and LPG as a fuel for transport and heavy machinery.

According to Gas Energy Australia CEO Mike Carmody, who presented at the inaugural meeting, “gas-powered vehicles produce up to 23 per cent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than their petrol and diesel powered counterparts, as well as up to 90 per cent less dangerous particulate pollution.”

The working group is to meet again in 2015 but in the meantime anyone that is interested in the working group is invited to contact the Department of State Development at dsd.petroleum@sa.gov.au.

 

 

ARTC trial new Advanced Train Management System in South Australia

16/09/2015

ARTC, the manager of the national rail network, have begun shadow trials of their new Advanced Train Management System (ATMS) in conjunction with US global aerospace, defence, security an advanced technology company Lockheed Martin.

Now in Phase 3 the trials have seen the in-cab real-time signal information system utilised for testing between Port Augusta and Whyalla.

According to Lockheed Martin the system will help Australia secure greater rail capacity out of existing track, increasing the nation’s international competiveness. The benefits to Australian rail operators will be realised through the in-cab system providing real-time precise location of trains, which Lockheed Martin explain allow for ARTC to double or even triple in some cases the amount of freight traffic that can travel on the existing rail network.

Furthermore ATMS will lower ARTC’s operational and maintenance costs by eliminating certain trackside signalling and complex trackside infrastructure.

Assuming the trials go as planned ARTC is scheduling to rollout ATMS throughout Australia in 2017 with the Nullabor railway between Tarcoola in South Australia and Western Australia’s Kalgoorlie being the first to see its full implementation.

The switch to a digital in-cab system has been made possible by ARTC’s multi-million, ten year contract signed last month with Telstra to provide ongoing telecommunications to the national rail freight network.

The National Train Communications System (NTCS) will be powered by Telstra’s NextG Network and will be supported by 70 base stations specifically built to support ARTC’s 8,500km national rail freight network.

According to ARTC’s CEO John Fullerton “The Telstra-based NTCS will provide a platform for many of the new and exciting innovations being developed by ARTC. Using the Telstra NextG® network, applications such as safe travelling distance technology (proximity alerting), real-time locomotive tracking, sophisticated track and wayside monitoring technology, situational awareness systems and the next generation of train management – the Advanced Train Management System (ATMS) – all become possible.”

Emission Reduction Fund: Land and Sea Transport Projects Free Webinar

16/09/2015

The Clean Energy Regulator is running a free webinar on land and sea transport project opportunities available under the Federal Government’s Emission Reduction Fund.

The webinar is to start at 10:30am (SA time) on the 11th of September.

The webinar will help participants to understand the main components of the land and sea method and provide advice to help you apply to run an Emissions Reduction Fund project under this method. There will also be an opportunity to submit questions.

The land and sea method is open to projects that reduce emissions through

  • Replacing existing vehicles
  • Modifying existing vehicles
  • Changing energy sources
  • Changing operational practises

Those looking for more information on the event or those looking to register for the free webinar can do so by clicking here.

 

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