The Alcoa Corporation announced late yesterday that it has come to an agreement with the Australian and Victorian government that will keep the Portland smelter open and allow it to restart the capacity damaged in last month’s power outage.
In the same announcement, Alcoa revealed that it has also come to an agreement with AGL Energy that will provide the plant with power.
Both agreements are to run for four years. No other terms were given in the company’s announcement.
“The Victorian State and Australian Federal governments are strong proponents of the Portland Aluminium smelter, our employees, their families and the broader Portland community, and we thank them for their unwavering support,” said Alcoa’s Chief Executive Officer Roy Harvey. “Today’s government and energy agreements will help make the Portland smelter more resilient against market volatility, maintain hundreds of jobs and provide a bridge to a potential long-term energy solution.”
“The recent displays of support have been outstanding, and our sincere thanks go to everyone who has worked with us to make these agreements possible,” Alcoa of Australia Chairman and Managing Director Michael Parker said. “I acknowledge in particular the State of Victoria for its determination and tireless support and the Australian Federal government in helping us achieve this positive outcome for the Portland community. To our employees, your hard work to stabilise the plant and your flexibility in taking annual leave after the outage is greatly appreciated. Our focus now will be on restoring capacity quickly and safely.”
Alcoa says that it will immediately go to work restarting damaged smelting capacity. They estimate it will take six months to repair the damage done during the five-hour power outage in December.
The firm concluded by assuring investors that damage to the Portland Aluminium smelter would not affect the fourth-quarter bottom line.