Portland Aluminium is restarting 35,000 tpy of idle capacity at its smelter in the State of Victoria in Australia.
“Restarting the idle capacity improves the smelter’s cost structure, competitiveness and longer term sustainability,” said Michael Gollschewski, president of Alcoa Australia. Alcoa Australia has a 55 % stake in Portland Aluminium and manages the day-to-day operations at the smelter.
Restart of idle capacity to be completed in Q3 2022
The Portland Aluminium has a total production capacity of 358,000 tpy, and Alcoa has 197,000 tpy of consolidated capacity. Once the restart is complete, the aluminium smelter will operate at 95% of total capacity and Alcoa will have 186,000 tpy of its capacity at Portland operating. The restart’s total cost is anticipated to be USD28m of which Alcoa’s share is around USD9m. Metal production is expected to start in the third quarter of 2022.
Energy to operate the restored capacity will be supplied under a new four-year agreement with power generator AGL. It will supplement the earlier announced five-year energy agreements with AGL, Alinta Energy and Origin that commenced on 1 August 2021.
30 new jobs planned
The project will create 30 permanent jobs at the smelter and about 50 temporary construction positions. The smelter has a workforce of about 680, consisting of both direct employees and contractors.
Portland Aluminium is a joint venture between Alcoa Australia (55%), Citic Nominees (22.5%) and Marubeni Aluminium Australia (22.5%). Alcoa of Australia is owned by Alcoa Corp. (60 %) and Alumina Ltd (40%).