85 jobs cut as Alcoa closes mine and power station

Alcoa has announced it will close the Anglesea coal mine and power station near Geelong, costing 85 jobs.

The Anglesea power station previously supplied approximately 40 per cent of the power needs for the Point Henry smelter in Geelong, Victoria. 

Alcoa said in February 2014 that it would conduct a sales process for the site, which has been operating as an independent supplier to the National Electricity Market since the smelter closed in August 2014, however the process did not result in a sale.

“Our key concern now is for our 85 employees who have done a great job in continuing to run the operation during this period of uncertainty,” said President Alcoa Refining and Managing Director, Alcoa of Australia, Alan Cransberg.

After closing the Point Henry operations in 2014 Alcoa contributed $5million into the Geelong Region Innovation and Investment Fund to support job creation projects that strengthen and diversify the regional economy and employment base.

“We look forward to the Fund continuing to create new employment opportunities in the region, and as we did with the Geelong community, we will be exploring how best to assist our Anglesea community partners,” Cransberg said.

As a result of the closure, Alcoa expects to record 2015 restructuring-related charges of $30 million to $35 million.

Victorian minister for Industry Lily D’Ambrosio said the closure after 46 years was a sad day for workers.

“The Victorian Government will ensure all assistance is provided during this difficult time,” D’Ambrosio said.

“The government will commence discussions with Alcoa regarding the rehabilitation of the site,” she said.

Surf Coast Shire Mayor Margot Smith told the ABC that while she felt for the workers set to lose their jobs, she was not sad to see the mine or power station close.

"I just think that it just goes to show that in this time, in this age, you wouldn't have a power station and a coal mine so close to a coastal area like this," Smith said.

Image: surfcoastnews.com.au

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