DMAX Ltd. will invest $60 million to retool and update its diesel engine plant in Dayton, Ohio, in anticipation of Duramax engine design changes that would address emerging U.S. EPA emissions requirements. Specific investment plans were not revealed.

DMAX is a joint venture of General Motors Corp. (60% ownership) and Isuzu Motors (40%) that has produced nearly 1.6 million diesel truck engines since it started up in 2000.

Its main product is the Duramax 6.6L Turbo Diesel engine that is installed in Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra heavy-duty pickups, as well as Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana vans.

The Duramax engines are being redesigned to meet the EPA’s Tier III emissions standard, which has been proposed to take effect in 2017.

EPA calls the Tier III program a “comprehensive” approach that considers a vehicle and its fuel as an integrated system, and aims to address the impacts of vehicles on air quality and public health. These proposed standards would reduce both tailpipe and evaporative emissions from passenger cars, light-duty trucks, medium-duty passenger vehicles, and some heavy-duty vehicles.

In its statement on the update plan, General Motors indicated the project would preserve approximately 500 jobs at the Dayton plant.

DMAX has produced almost 1.6 million engines since it opened in 2000, and the partnership reportedly has invested $760 million in the operation since then.

“Today’s announcement demonstrates GM’s commitment to continuously invest in technologies that reduce the impact of our vehicles on the environment, while maintaining performance attributes required by customers in the areas of towing and hauling loads,” stated GM North America manufacturing manager Christine Sitek.