BYD-BACKED 51-HECTARE NSW E-BUS MANUFACTURING SITE ACQUIRED

Photography by: Image via Twitter @AndrewConstance


A PROPOSED AUD$700 Million e-bus and e-vehicle manufacturing hub in the NSW Southern Highlands – backed by Chinese manufacturer BYD – is a step closer after ‘cleantech’ company TruGreen’s subsidiary Nexport secured a 51-hectare Moss Vale site, it’s reported recently.

BYD-BACKED 51-HECTARE NSW E-BUS MANUFACTURING SITE ACQUIRED
Nexport chief executive Luke Todd says the Moss Vale industrial production site itself would be a zero-emissions site and would be producing buses, trucks, vans and passenger vehicles when it was at full strength.

As the Australian Financial Review (AFR) newspaper article explains, the site south-west of Sydney aims to be at the forefront of a revival of local manufacturing, with as many as 2000 new skilled jobs envisaged for the entity.

Officiating at a media event earlier this week, NSW Minister for Transport & Roads and Member for Bega Andrew Constance tweeted: "There’s no secret of my to desire to convert our state’s diesel bus fleet as quickly and efficiently as we can. Today it was great to join Nexport who’ve announced plans to build an electric vehicle production facility in the Southern Highlands. #nswpol"

The announcement garnered pace after a $50 million capital raising last month by TrueGreen notably attracted investment from Sydney Roosters chairman Nick Politis, the largest shareholder in Eagers Automotive - Australia's biggest car dealership group with a 27 per cent holding worth $830 million.

A forthcoming institutional round of capital raising is expected to be open to investors next month.

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THE BIG SHIFT

According to the AFR, Nexport chief executive Luke Todd confirms the 51-hectare site at an industrial estate at Moss Vale in the Southern Highlands had been acquired four weeks ago for the manufacturing operation as it aims to become a big player in making electric buses and vehicles.

Nexport is the largest supplier of electric buses in Australia, it states, and uses electric vehicle technology developed by BYD.

Todd says the group was tapping into the big shift towards rebuilding Australia's manufacturing base, and an industry of the future in electric vehicles.

The Covid-19 pandemic had hastened TrueGreen and Nexport's plans to shift focus to Australian manufacturing, and away from China, the AFR states.

"Covid-19 has caused many industries great distress. We can't hide from that," Todd said.

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ACCELERATED REVIVAL

Nexport ‘wanted to be part of a manufacturing renaissance, in line with the push by the federal government to ensure that an economic revival coming out of the pandemic was accelerated’, the AFR explains.

"It was already in the works but we have taken the opportunity to escalate and expedite and deepen our investment," Todd said.

"We are 100 per cent Australian-owned."

Other investors include Rod Casson, who built up a large motorcycle accessories business with his brother, which they sold in 2017 for $123 million to ASX-listed MotorCycle Holdings, the AFR states. The Halifax family office has also taken a stake, it reports.

The New South Wales government has begun the long process of electrification of its fleet of 8000 buses, it adds.

Todd says the Moss Vale industrial production site itself would be a zero-emissions site and would be producing buses, trucks, vans and passenger vehicles when it was at full strength.

He said Nexport and TrueGreen were aiming to attract other "cleantech" businesses to the site, it’s reported.

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