This week Alcoa announced the closure of it's Port Henry smelter and aluminium rolling mills after a review conducted in the last year. This is a definite employment blow to the Geelong region, coming on the heals of the Ford factory announced closure. But it can provide impetus to reduce carbon emissions for climate change mitigation action by shutting down polluting coal fired capacity now excess to demand. The Alcoa closure will result in a reduction of about 360MW of electricity currently supplied to the Port Henry aluminium smelter. The Anglesea coal fired power station provides 150MW of this power, which would mean a need to reduce La Trobe Valley generating capacity by about 210MW.
Alcoa have announced a review of the future of Point Henry Smelter near Anglesea in a press release to the Australian Stock Exchange. The smelter at Point Henry has been operating for 49 years and employs about 600 people. Maybe the government subsidies that prop up an inefficient industrial plant need to be redirected into reskilling, retraining and relocating the 600 odd workers that face losing their jobs.