July 2, 2009

Curtailment complete

The 15 per cent production curtailment announced in April by Portland Aluminium was finalised this week as the 68 pots were taken offline.

The curtailment is a response to the global financial crisis and difficult international market conditions and sees normal production of around 358,000 tonnes per annum reduced to 305,000 tonnes per annum.

Portland Aluminium Operations Manager John Osborne said the curtailment went to plan.
“It took considerable planning to ensure the safe and efficient removal of the pots, but we executed our plan well without affecting the rest of the operation,” Mr Osborne said.
The internal consultative process, involving employees, contractors, suppliers and unions, to achieve 10-15 per cent cost reduction in the business, also announced in April, is continuing.
“We have done some great work to reduce costs, but haven’t reached our target of 10-15 per cent, therefore we will need to redesign the business, which includes reducing employee numbers,” Mr Osborne said.
“This week we have asked employees working under the Australian Workers Union for expressions of interest in a voluntary redundancy package, as outlined in Portland Aluminium’s Enterprise Bargaining Agreement.
“At this stage, we are only asking for expressions of interest, with final numbers to be determined in the coming weeks.”