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Struggling with power costs, aluminum smelter cuts deal to stay open

January 15, 2021

Money Morning Australia:

NZAS is the only aluminium smelter in the country, located on Tiwai Peninsula. It’s a joint venture between RIO, who has a 79.36% stake and Sumitomo Chemical Company Ltd who holds the remaining.

Rio Tinto announced last year it would be closing down operations in August because of high energy and transmission costs which made the smelter lose money.

But one solution that could play an important part in lowering energy bills could be renewable electricity.

In fact, a recent report by Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA ) found that ‘instead of closing the smelters, the aluminium sector could move to low-cost, zero-emissions electricity and invest in plant upgrades to support demand response management, and profit from the long-term growth by value-adding in metals and industrial processing markets.’

[Selva Freigedo]

More: Deal keeps New Zealand’s Aluminum Smelter (NZAS) running until 2024

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