The Turnbull Government welcomes the announcement today that the Alcoa Portland Aluminium Smelter will remain open into the next decade. This is great news for the workers at the Alcoa smelter and the community of Portland.
A power supply failure to Alcoa last month caused damage to production lines and significantly reduced the operating capacity of the smelter.
The Turnbull Government is providing significant financial support to secure jobs at Alcoa and provide certainty for workers, with a $30 million direct grant to restore operations.
The financial support is conditional on operations at the smelter continuing until at least 30 June 2021 and maintaining production to at least 90 per cent of pre-outage levels.*
The funds are available for capital improvements, maintenance and repairs to damage caused by the outage.
The Turnbull Government has been in constant discussions with Alcoa since the outage. This included travelling with the Victorian Government to New York to meet with the company’s global head to reiterate the importance of the smelter’s operations for the 2000 direct and indirect jobs it supports.
The Turnbull Government will also work with Alcoa to seek a commercially viable long term solution for the smelter.
Alcoa has been in negotiations for a new power supply agreement and we welcome news that this has now been finalised with AGL. We also welcome the support provided by the Victorian Government.
The power outage at Alcoa highlights the importance of energy security and affordability for Australia’s manufacturing industries. The Turnbull Government is committed to working with the states to achieve this.
We have been working closely with Alcoa, AGL, the AWU and the Victorian Government, and thank and congratulate all parties for reaching agreements that will help to protect jobs in Portland.
We look forward to continuing to work together to secure the future of the smelter through the 2020s.