Gordon Brown Supports Anglesey Smelter Rescue

by J Williams

With 400 local jobs at risk, Prime Minister Gordon Brown fully supports rescue plans at Anglesey Aluminium Metal(AAM)in Holyhead.

Despite a generous support package of £48 million over four years from the Westminster and Welsh Assembly governments, AAM, which is jointly owned by Rio Tinto and Kaiser Aluminium, Inc, has announced its decision to close down the smelter this September.

Local MP Albert Owen has been co-ordinating the efforts by stakeholders to seek a solution which would save local jobs and enable the smelter to continue its operations.

Mr Owen said:"I have met with the Prime Minister and he has told me the Government is doing all it can to save the jobs at Anglesey Aluminium."

Meanwhile the Secretary of State for Wales, Peter Hain, continues to press the company to look again at its decision to turn down the £48 m support package, which is aimed at supporting the company during the period between the ending of its electricity contract with Wylfa and the opening of its proposed on-site £600 m, 300 MW biomass power plant in 2013.

There will shortly be a meeting of the combined Boards of Rio Tinto, Kaiser Aluminium and AAM in London along with senior Government ministers from the Business and Energy Departments to try to find a way forward.

Local workers, who feel the company should not have declined the government package, will be waiting anxiously for a positive outcome from these high-level meetings next week.

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