Westport sells part of stake in Chinese natural gas engine JV for US$10.7M
Vancouver-based company retains minority interest in business, expects to launch first product in China next year
VANCOUVER—Canadian natural gas engine company Westport Fuel Systems Inc. is selling 11.7 per cent of its 35 per cent interest in a Chinese joint venture for approximately US$10.7 million.
The company will hand off the small stake in Weichai Westport Inc. to joint venture partner Weichai Holding Group Co. as well as another undisclosed customer, but said it plans to retain its remaining interest in the business. The JV is currently developing a facility that will be capable of producing as many as 20,000 natural gas-burning engines each year.
“China remains an important market for us and we are dedicated to supporting our OEM customers,” Nancy Gougarty, the company’s CEO, said.
“There is increasing urgency around the globe to address urban air quality issues and natural gas fueled vehicles can play an integral role in reducing emissions,” she added. “The WWI joint venture remains well positioned to support China’s transportation market and we continue to advance the commercialization of our HPDI technology in support of the heavy-duty sector.”
Aiming to replace diesel engines with cleaner-burning natural gas, the joint venture plans to use Westport’s High Pressure Direct Injection 2.0 technology. It is scheduled to launch its first commercial product in China next year.