If Pacific Aluminium is ‘fair dinkum’ about saving local jobs at its Boyne Island aluminium smelter then it will sign a long-term electricity supply contract immediately, CS Energy Chief Executive Officer Martin Moore said today.
Yesterday Pacific Aluminium announced that it would temporarily lower production by 50MW and reduce the size of their workforce at the Boyne Island aluminium smelter because of the high spot market electricity prices.
“The best way to avoid the volatility of the electricity spot market is to lock-in long-term supply contracts,” Mr Moore said.
“A long-term contract will provide Pacific Aluminium with certainty for production and job security for the workers at the Boyne smelter.
“It may not be too late to save jobs at the smelter if Pacific Aluminium is willing to negotiate a long-term supply contract for the smelter’s additional load requirements. If they did that then I am sure the smelter could continue to operate at full capacity,” he said.
Mr Moore said that CS Energy already provides Pacific Aluminium with favourable prices for 85 per cent (810MW) of the Boyne Island smelter’s electricity requirements through the Gladstone Power Station Interconnection and Power Pooling Agreement.
“We are happy to sit down and negotiate in good faith for a contract to supply the additional 15 per cent (185MW) and hopefully save the jobs of local workers,” Mr Moore said.
“CS Energy has made numerous and very competitive offers to meet Boyne Island aluminium smelter’s additional load requirements, but Pacific Aluminium chose not to accept our offers and instead left itself exposed to the volatile spot electricity market.
“This current situation could have been avoided if Pacific Aluminium had chosen to accept one of our very competitive long-term offers.”
Mr Moore said the offer to meet with him or the company’s Chairman remains open.
“CS Energy remains ready and willing to meet with Pacific Aluminium to negotiate a commercially sensible agreement that meets the needs of both parties,” he said.
“If Pacific Aluminium did not want to meet with CS Energy then I am sure plenty of other wholesale electricity generators that operate in the National Electricity Market will be happy to sit down and talk with Pacific Aluminium.
"Nobody likes to see jobs lost unnecessarily,” he said.