A deal that promises to transform Victoria’s former coal power hub into a national centre for Australian electric vehicle production has been announced by the state Labor government, through a support package that will help build a “massive” EV assembly plant in the Latrobe Valley.
Victorian premier Daniel Andrews and minister for industry Ben Carroll announced on Tuesday that the Labor government had committed an undisclosed amount to underpin the construction of a SEA Electric EV factory, most likely in Morwell, in the state’s Gippsland region.
The facility is expected to employ 500 Latrobe Valley locals, and assemble 2,400 vehicles a year – specialising in the production of electric delivery vans and minibuses using SEA Electric’s proprietary, and world-first, electric drive technology.
“Our announcement today, in partnership with SEA Electric, is all about making sure that the Latrobe Valley is the national capital for electric vehicles,” Andrews said during a press conference in Morwell.
“This is 500 manufacturing jobs, 500 new jobs in this proud region, putting together (electric) vehicles.
“It will be a particularly big facility.”
Andrews said the five-year support package was drawn from the $266 million Latrobe Valley support package, set up by the Labor to help the Valley transition from coal, after last year’s closure of the Hazelwood power plant.
“We can’t be telling all of our competitors and setting the price, if you like. We need to make sure that we get good value, and we have.
“This is exactly what we said we would do when we set up the Latrobe Valley authority,” he continued.
“This new plant will not only create jobs ongoing … but there’ll be jobs in the construction of the brand new factory.
“And of course, when you’re producing 2,400 vehicles a year, there’s more opportunity for more of that supply chain to be brought local, into this proud region.”
The deal is a major coup for SEA Electric, which – as company founder, majority share-shareholder and CEO, Tony Fair-weather explained on Tuesday – only came to market at the beginning of last year.
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