Government approves clean tech grants worth $8m

The first businesses to benefit from the federal government’s $1 billion grants program to help manufacturers cope with the carbon pricing include an insulation maker, an aluminium can plant and a number of wineries.

Manufacturers awarded grants of up to $500,000 under the clean technology investment program have to match the government on a dollar-for-dollar basis.

Businesses applying for all other grants under $10 million are required to contribute $2 for every $1 from the government. For grants of $10 million or more at least $3 must be contributed for each $1 received.

The money must be invested in new equipment and processes that cut carbon emissions.

Thirteen grants worth a total $8.1 million were announced on Thursday. They attracted co-investments of $23 million.

The grants were a practical way for manufacturers to implement changes in their operations in the manufacturing sector, Climate Change Minister Greg Combet told reporters at a frozen food factory in western Sydney.

They could also achieve improvements in their energy efficiency, reduce emissions and cut costs.

The 13 successful applicants included De Bortoli Wines which received $4.8 million to help it use grid power more efficiently, replace old equipment and adopt solar technology across sites in NSW, Victoria and Queensland.

CSR Building Products was granted $1 million to install a gas-fired cogeneration system at its insulation manufacturing site in Ingleburn NSW.

On a smaller scale, Matilda’s Estate winery in Western Australia received $41,000 to install a solar power system. Amcor’s aluminium can plant in WA pocketed $44,000.

Manufacturers can apply at any time for a grant under the investment program.

From July 1, the country’s biggest polluters will pay a carbon price of $23 a tonne for their emissions.

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