ALCOA has moved to reassure nervous Portland residents the Portland Aluminium smelter is not at risk of closure in the short to medium term.
It is understood that the company’s recent announcement it will close its Point Henry smelter in August putting 500 employees out of work, combined with a number of recent high profile business closures and pending closures in Victoria, has made a number of Portland smelter workers and their families nervous about the future.
Alcoa spokeswoman Nichola Holgate said on Monday that the Portland smelter was significantly more efficient than the Point Henry smelter.
“It has newer technology that provides greater economies of scale and higher productivity,” she said.
“Normal operations will continue at Portland.”
Australian Workers’ Union state secretary Ben Davis agreed, saying that although the Portland smelter’s figures were “not great”, it was a totally different operation to Point Henry.
However, he admitted the union was keeping an eye on Portland.
Read the full story in Friday’s Portland Observer.