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Federal government’s $76 million Alcoa lifeline to shore up Victoria’s power supply

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Article image for Federal government’s $76 million Alcoa lifeline to shore up Victoria’s power supply

The federal government has thrown the Alcoa aluminium smelter at Portland a $76.8 million lifeline in a bid to save thousands of jobs and secure Victoria’s energy supply.

In exchange for $19.2 million per year for the next four years, the smelter, which uses one tenth of Victoria’s energy, will power down on high energy demand days, freeing up power for residential use.

Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor says it will play a vital role in security Victoria’s energy supply.

“It’s all about shoring up the smelter at Portland … but also, importantly, it’s about shoring up the electricity grid. Aluminum smelters in particular play a very important role in our electricity grid,” he told Tony Jones, filling in for Neil Mitchell.

“On a very tough day, when demand is particularly high … smelters can play a role in giving some of that power back to the system for a few hours.”

The state government has not yet announced support for the smelter, but Mr Taylor says he’s “optimistic that they will play a role”.

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