Alcoa’s Portland smelter is set to resume operations at full capacity for the first time since December 2016 when a power outage forced the company to shut down one of its two aluminium potlines.
Minister for Industry and Employment Wade Noonan, who joined with Alcoa workers on Monday to celebrate the smelter’s imminent return to full production, said the plant was a key contributor to the region’s economy.
“The Portland Alcoa smelter is critical to the region’s economy and we’re committed to keeping workers in jobs and supporting local manufacturing,” the Minister said.
Minister Noonan also visited the Port of Portland – which handled a record 7.6 million tonnes of cargo worth over $2 billion in 2016-17 – as well as Keppel Prince Engineering and Porthaul – two companies that are growing and investing in the region.
“Portland’s economy remains strong thanks to the smelter and businesses such as Keppel Prince and Porthaul, which are expanding and creating more jobs in the region,” Mr Noonan remarked.
The smelter is Portland’s largest employer, supporting more than 1,600 supply chain and indirect jobs.
Member for Western Victoria Gayle Tierney said the plant directly employs 650 employees and contractors, and injects more than $120 million into the Portland region every year.
“We will always look out for the workers and their families, and it’s great to see how our support is delivering certainty for the Portland community,” she said.