Deal set to keep Alcoa's troubled Portland plant operating
Source: The Age 16/1/17
Alcoa's Portland's aluminium smelter has all but struck a generous new electricity supply deal with energy giant AGL, ensuring the troubled plant is likely to stay open.
At a marathon 12-hour meeting on Sunday chaired by state Treasurer Tim Pallas, Alcoa and AGL reached what was described as an "in principle" agreement on the price and terms covering the supply of electricity to the smelter.
The deal, which is not yet legally binding, is seen as a breakthrough needed to convince the US multinational to keep the 30-year-old smelter operating.
Any decision by Alcoa to keep its Portland smelter operating will come as a huge relief to the local community. But environment groups claim the era of cheap brown coal-fired power is coming to an end.
Australian Conservation Foundation climate change campaigner Suzanne Harter said if the public was going to pay for the smelter to stay open, the federal and state governments should make sure the power comes from clean, renewable energy.
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