On Tuesday the 15th September 2020, the Hon Scott Morrison MP, Prime Minister of Australia, visited Tomago Aluminium following an important National Energy address hosted by the Hunter Business Chamber at WesTrac.

In his address, the Prime Minister outlined the federal government’s post-COVID-19 gas-fired recovery plan, which will include a gas power plant at Kurri Kurri if the energy sector fails to replace the capacity lost from the closure of Liddell power station.

The government has given the market until the end of April 2021 to show that it can replace the lost capacity and confirmed that Snowy Hydro is currently developing options to build a gas generator, should the market fail to deliver what is required.

Tomago Aluminium Chief Executive Officer, Matt Howell, said, “I frequently get asked what will happen when Liddell closes in 2023, so Tuesday's announcement that the market needs to step up to deliver like-for-like capacity… or the Commonwealth will, is great news for our business and the manufacturing industry”.

“This will ensure more than enough reliable supply and allows us to pursue the opportunity for a firmed renewable energy portfolio knowing that Liddell will no longer be available,” Mr Howell said.

“This announcement reflects all the hard work we and others have been doing to get some balance into the energy debate.”

Matt Howell attended the National Energy address at WestTrac along with other key leaders from within the Hunter Region Manufacturing industries.

The Prime Minister then headed to Tomago Aluminium for a tour of the plant accompanied by Hon Angus Taylor MP, Hon Dr David Gillespie MP and Senator Hollie Hughes and an entourage of security and staff.

The tour started with a visit to the substation and control room where the Prime Minister was greeted by Brett Timney – Maintenance Superintendent, Shane McDonald – High Voltage Substation Supervisor, Chuck Luck – HV Electrician and Nathan Skyrm – HV Electrician.

The last port of call for the group was over to the Potlines to see an anode change with Josh Gorton – Operations Superintendent, Tom Connell – Process Superintendent and Grant Farrow – Reline & Services Superintendent.

The Prime Minister enjoyed his interactions and all staff involved made a very favourable impression on behalf of the business.

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