On Thursday 5 March, TAC hosted a visit by the Federal Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, the Hon Karen Andrews MP.

The purpose of the visit was twofold; an opportunity for the Minister to familiarise herself with the largest and most efficient Aluminium smelter in the country and also to hear from us on the critical role TAC plays in ensuring stability in the National Electricity Market through our potline interruptibility.

The January 2020 bushfires are a great example; the lights and air cons across NSW stayed on when bushfires impacted the transmission network because we were able to take 300MW out of the grid when demand peaked. The next largest interruptible load in NSW is around 50MW, so Aluminium smelters are a critical asset for managing NEM security, particularly as we manage increased penetration of variable wind and solar generation into the system. 

The Minister had a brief tour of the site and visited potline 3 to watch an anode change – something that gave her an appreciation for the continuous nature of Aluminium smelting and the complex choreography that goes into keeping all of the elements running in the right order. 

Prior to the TAC visit, Minister Andrews was with the Prime Minister adjacent to our site at the Energy Renaissance property (soon to be a major factory for lithium-ion batteries) to announce the launch of the 10-year Resources Technology and Critical Minerals Processing Road Map.

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