22 August 2015

Anglesea station powers down

Last night Alcoa powered down the Anglesea Power Station for the final time, after 46 years of operation.
At 8:48pm, long term employees joined Power Station supervisor Bryce Hutton to shut down the station’s boiler, which produces steam to drive the turbine and produce power.
“We were planning to power down on Tuesday 25 August, but a mechanical failure in our coal delivery system brought that date forward,” Power Station Manager Warren Sharp said. “It was repairable, however it would have meant a high level of activity at a difficult time for our people, and after considering all factors it was decided to end power generation last night.”
“There is no doubt that this is a very sad day. For 46 years this has been a very well run and well maintained facility. Its success as a reliable power generator is the culmination of the hard work and determination of every employee, every contractor, every supplier, every partner, and every community member who has supported us, and advocated for us, over that journey.
“I certainly could not be more proud of the contribution our employees have made to our company and to the Anglesea community. I’m especially proud of the way they have safely gone about their work over the past three months, despite it being a very challenging time for them and their families,” Mr Sharp said.
Employees will continue working until 31 August to wind up operations and secure the site. On 1 September the site will be handed over to Alcoa’s Asset Planning and Management group for future decommissioning and rehabilitation.  Alcoa has considerable Australian and international expertise in mine rehabilitation and industrial site remediation and has estimated $US40 - $US45 million for asset retirement and rehabilitation at Anglesea.
The Anglesea Power Station supported Alcoa’s Point Henry operations in contributing more than $10 billion to the Australian economy through royalties, taxes, wages, purchasing and investment.  In 2014 Anglesea directly contributed more than $17 million into Anglesea and the surrounding areas.
Alcoa employees also fundraised and invested thousands of volunteer hours and in-kind support into the broader Anglesea region for a variety of programs in environment, education, health and community wellbeing.
The Anglesea Power Station closure was announced on 12 May this year. Alcoa said in February 2014 that it would conduct a sales process for the site, which had been operating as an independent supplier to the National Electricity Market since the Point Henry smelter closed in August 2014. The sales process did not result in a sale.
Since the announcement the company’s primary focus has been on providing its employees with the skills and support they need to secure sustainable alternative employment in the region. This included career transition assistance, one-on-one career counselling, directly sponsored training courses and financial support for employees to undertake their own accredited training.
An announcement about a contribution to help Alcoa’s community partners’ transition into the future without Alcoa will be made in the near future.
Media contacts:
Kate Betts – 0400 209 497
Brian Doy – 0404 800 690