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High Electricity Prices Threatening Future Viability Of Portland Aluminium Smelter

Metal News - Published on Thu, 13 Jun 2019

Image Source: standard.net.au
Standard Net reported that the future of Portland's aluminium smelter remains under a cloud of doubt despite a support package from the state Labor government in January 2017 reportedly worth USD 200 million over four years. A major shareholder has revealed the high cost of electricity is threatening the viability of the factory.

Alumina Limited managing director Mike Ferraro told The Australian Financial Review that "Prices (for electricity) have fallen because of renewables coming on stream, but it still needs to continue to fall to achieve the sort of returns that we need to achieve to keep the facility operating.”

Member for South West Coast Ms Roma Britnell said the state government needed to make power more affordable for the Portland smelter to secure the jobs it provided to the region. She said that "High power prices are the biggest issue facing businesses right across Victoria, especially for energy intensive industries like the Portland smelter.”

She said that "Daniel Andrews and Labor know it's a major issue, it's the reason both the federal and state government put together a package to save the smelter in 2017. But the state Labor Government seem to be doing little to address the problem facing large industry when it comes to energy prices."

An Alcoa spokeswoman said the Portland smelter was a well-run facility and the company remained focused on identifying ways to increase its global competitiveness. The spokeswoman said that "However, like aluminium smelters across the globe, it is facing challenging market conditions. Our goal remains to establish a long-term future for the smelter in the interests of our employees and the local community. Obtaining an internationally competitive power contract is central to that future.”

He added that "Our current power contract runs until mid-2021."

Source :

Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Thu, 13 Jun 2019
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