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Smelter’s future secured

THE future of Portland’s aluminium smelter has been secured for the next five years, with Alcoa announcing a new energy deal and government funding to keep the plant running.

Alcoa announced Friday it had reached a new five-year energy supply deal with AGL, Alinta Energy and Origin, which would be supported by funding commitments from the State and Federal Governments.

Speaking at the smelter yesterday, prime minister, Scott Morrison said the Federal Government had committed to a $76 million underwriting commitment over the four years under the Reliability and Emergency Reserve Trader scheme.

Mr Morrison said the commitment would support 500 jobs at the smelter, along with ensuring the reliability of Victoria’s power grid.

“It’s great news for Portland, it’s great news for the jobs here in Portland and the many thousand jobs that exist beyond the gates of this tremendous facility because … this smelter sits at the centre of the region’s economy,” he said.

“But more broadly it’s good for Victorians because … (it ensures we) can keep the lights on right across Victoria.”

The Federal Government’s funding commitment was matched by the State Government.

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