Government Offers Smelter Jobs Hope
by J Williams
According to Anglesey MP Albert Owen, 540 jobs at the Holyhead aluminium smelter may be saved by a financial package from Government at Westminster and Cardiff.
With the Rio Tinto - Kaiser Chemical Corporation jointly owned plant likely to close in September unless a new electricity supply contract can be secured, this offer also includes support for the company's proposed £600 million, 300 MW biomass power plant next to the smelter.
Mr Owen met yesterday with ministers and officials at the Welsh Office, as well as the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and Department for Business Innovation and Skills, as well as Welsh Assembly Government Ministers and Officials from Unite the Union.
Mr Owen said: "We are determined to fight and keep as many jobs as possible.
Negotiations are at a difficult stage and we now need some clarity from both Rio Tinto and the Anglesey Aluminium Board."
A taskforce has been set up to come up with a solution to the problem, this has now been done, so we wait for a response from the company."
The Unite representative said that "the union is pleased with the very positive approach taken by the Government, and we now want to meet with the Anglesey Aluminium Metal (AAM) Board soon to move things forward."
This follows on from proposals put forward by AAM recently to build a biomass plant next to the Holyhead smelter.
Given that the special power contract with Wylfa Nuclear Power Station ends this September, it is a matter of urgency that the plant secures a new electricity contract.
So even if the AAM biomass project gets the green light it is not certain that operations at the Holyhead smelter could continue unless this power issue is resolved.
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Kaiser expects smelter closure
Counter proposal smelter hope
Renewed hope for Anglesey Aluminium
Gordon Brown smelter support
Holyhead Biomass Plant Exhibition
Anglesey Aluminium wants biomass power
Avoiding Anglesey Smelter Shutdown
Anglesey smelter closing
Prospects for Island smelter
Welsh Secretary visits Aluminium plant
Aluminium plant full output recovery
Smelter three month capacity cut
Aluminium smelter fire causes shutdown
Permanent closure Anglesey Aluminium
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