Carbon Revolution gets $5 million grant for Geelong facility

The
first successful applicant for a grants programme to strengthen Geelong’s industrial sector
has been announced, with Carbon Revolution awarded $5 million to help it build
a facility at Waurn Ponds.

A
joint announcement today from federal industry minister Ian Macfarlane, federal
MP Sarah Henderson, Victorian manufacturing minister David Hodgett and
Victorian MP made it known that Carbon Revolution was the first successful
applicant in the first round of the Geelong Region Innovation and Investment Fund (GRIIF).

GRIIF
is a tripartite program worth $24.5 million, funded by the federal and
Victorian governments and Ford Australia, which will close its Geelong plant in
2016.

Carbon
Revolution (formerly CFusion) had detailed its plans to invest in the Waurn Ponds site last year. The company makes high-performance composite wheels for
automobiles.

“This project shows the depth of
the Australian manufacturing sector and is an example of the type of innovative
and high-tech manufacturing that Australia can excel in, as the sector
undergoes major transformation,” said Macfarlane during a site visit.

The company’s application states
they will spend over $23.8 million on “a manufacturing facility to allow the commercial scale production of carbon fibre wheels for supply to the automotiveindustry.”

According to Carbon Revolution, 108
jobs would be created with the assistance of the grant. The region’s
manufacturing employment has been dealt recent blows by Ford’s announcement
last May, and the news last month that Alcoa’s Point Henry smelter would close
this year.

“The Geelong region has absorbed
significant shocks in recent weeks and months, but these new investments are a
show of confidence in the region and in the change of direction that is taking
place in Australian manufacturing,” Macfarlane added.

The minister’s statement said that
further GRIIF Round One announcements “will be made shortly”.

Applications for Round 2 grants are
open until 5 pm on May 29 and can be made through AusIndustry’s website. For
more information, click here.

Image: thecarbonfibrejournal.com