Smelter power deal query
AN Australian Workers’ Union state executive has labelled comments in the Australian Financial Review about Portland Aluminium’s future as reckless.
AWU Victorian branch secretary Ben Davis said comments in the May 26 article ‘Clock ticking on taxpayer bailout as Portland smelter struggles’ were akin to forfeiting a game before it begins.
“I’m going to see Richmond play on the weekend and I won’t see them concede the game before the first bounce; this is the same thing,” Mr Davis said.
“I think those comments were reckless and a bit pre-emptive.
“The comments weren’t even from Alcoa, they were from a shareholder.”
The AFR article questioned the future of Portland Aluminium beyond 2021, stating that the Victorian government may need to bail out the smelter again due to high prices for power and alumina.
The article also wrote that the smelter appears to have lost $US54 million ($78.29 million) in 2018, based on filings by major shareholder Alumina Limited, which owns 55% of the business.