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US Energy Secretary Chu Announces $24 Million Loan for Tenneco Inc. for Advanced Vehicle Technology

October 27, 2009 - 12:00am

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Washington, DC - The Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it has entered into a $24 million conditional loan commitment with Tenneco Inc. to develop fuel efficient emission control components for advanced technology vehicles.  The loan is part of the Department's commitment to helping the auto industry meet or exceed President Obama's tough new fuel economy standards, while helping America regain its competitive edge in world markets.

"Not only are these loans ensuring American workers can produce the best, most fuel efficient cars in the world, but they're also helping to reduce our dangerous dependence on foreign oil and our carbon footprint," said Secretary Chu.  "In the process, we're creating clean energy jobs that can't be shipped overseas."

Tenneco, which is headquartered in Lake Forest, Illinois, is the first component manufacturer to receive a conditional loan commitment under the Department's Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) program. Tenneco will use the proceeds of the loan to design, engineer and produce emission control components for gas, hybrid and diesel-powered vehicle engines.  These advanced technology products will help car and light truck manufacturers meet increased CAFÉ standards, while also meeting new, more stringent standards for vehicle tailpipe emissions.

More than two million automobiles and light trucks built in model years 2010 to 2014 will be equipped with Tenneco's emission control technology. The components include catalytic converters, diesel particulate filters, diesel oxidation catalysts and selective catalytic reduction units.  Tenneco's diesel oxidation catalysts can reduce up to 90 percent of hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions and its diesel particulate filters can reduce particulate matter emissions by up to 95 percent.

Engineering for the DOE-funded products and systems will be performed at the company's advanced engineering center in Michigan, which employs more than 300 scientists and other employees, and manufactured at Tenneco facilities in Michigan, Indiana and Nebraska, which employ more than 1,500 workers.

The Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program is an open process designed to promote the development of fuel efficient advanced technology vehicles. First appropriated in the fall of 2008, the program provides loans to companies making cars and components in U.S. factories that increase fuel economy at least 25 percent above 2005 fuel economy levels. The intense technical and financial review process is focused not on choosing a single technology over others, but is aimed at promoting multiple approaches for achieving a fuel efficient economy.

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