WA manufacturers get a leg up under Clean Tech

Four Western Australian-based manufacturers are set to reduce their power bills and become more energy efficient under new grants from the $1 billion Clean Technology Investment Programs.

Worth a combined $1.8 million, the new grants would support these businesses in their installation of over $4.8 million worth of energy efficient equipment, Minister for Industry and Innovation, Greg Combet said in a statement.

"The Gillard Government is partnering with business through the Clean Technology Investment Programs to help local manufactures, food processers and foundries become more efficient, more competitive and more sustainable," Combet said.

"With the help of over $1 million in federal funding, Richgro, one of Australia’s top garden products suppliers, will be able to generate all of its power onsite, reducing the company’s carbon emissions and its electricity consumption by 100%.

"This is just one example of the practical steps businesses are taking to improve energy efficiency, reduce costs and boost capacity."

Home gardening products manufacturer and supplier, Richgro is one four grant recipients in Western Australia in the July round of the Clean Technology Investment Programs.

The Australian-owned family business is one of the top 5 garden products' suppliers on the Australian market. Richgro Garden products, including soil conditioner, potting mix, fertiliser, water saver or plant protection products, are marketed throughout Australia and are available at all major retailers.

Its subsidiaries include: Richgro Retail, which remains the core of the business; Richgro Laboratory Services which supplies testing services to the industry; Richgro Commercial which is focused on WA growers market; and the 2004 acquired Amazon Soils, one of WA's largest manufacturers of bulk mulch, compost and blended soils.

Melissa Parke, Federal Member for Fremantle says that Richgro is yet “another fantastic example of the Fremantle community’s enthusiasm for embracing sustainability and innovation through the framework of the Clean Energy Future package of reforms.”

She noted a range of WA companies taking the lead in adopting energy efficiency measures for business. She said:

• Supa Stik Labels and Labelling Systems will be able to reduce its carbon emissions intensity in by over 31%
• Naturaliste Vintners will upgrade two refrigeration units to use more environmental friendly hydro-carbon gasses as well as insulating wine tanks with stainless steel.
• Canon Foods will be able convert two electronically heated components of its processing line to a gas-fired thermal oil system

According to Combet, these grants are just the beginning.

“Over the coming years the Clean Technology Investment Programs are expected to support around 3,000 projects," he said.

The funding to Richgro has been approved subject to Council approval for the installation of the waste-to-energy plant.

The $800 million Clean Technology Investment Program and the $200 million Clean Technology Food and Foundries Investment Program are funded through the Government’s Clean Energy Future package.

For more information on the Clean Technology Investment Programs, visit www.ausindustry.gov.au.

Table sourced: Department of Climate Change

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