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Portland Smelter Needs Cheaper Power to Stay Open Past 2021

Metal News - Published on Tue, 10 Dec 2019

Image Source: Portland Smelter
Reuters reported that Portland smelter will need cheaper, more reliable power to keep its smelter in Australia open beyond 2021 when its current supply deal ends. Alumina Ltd CEO Mr Mike Ferraro said “We would ideally like to find a solution. It’s well run, it’s a relatively new smelter. Ideally, we would like to renegotiate a new power contract at a lower price.”

The power contract for the Portland smelter, which consumes about 10% of the state of Victoria’s electricity, ends in mid-2021.

The Portland smelter was rescued in 2017 with Australian federal and state government subsidies of around AUD 230 million and a cheap power deal, after being crippled by a blackout that caused molten aluminium to solidify. The plant has been plagued by power issues over the past few years, and now gets paid to curtail power use to help prevent blackouts during heat waves.

The Portland plant, co-owned by AWAC, CITIC and Marubeni Corp, is powered by coal-fired electricity, making it a big carbon emitter compared to Alcoa’s plants elsewhere that are fuelled by hydropower.

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Posted By : Yogender Pancholi on Tue, 10 Dec 2019
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