30 Jun 2012

Bailout for smelter

8:03 am on 30 June 2012

Alcoa is confident that rescue funding from the federal and Victorian state government in Australia will allow it to continue operating its Port Henry smelter near Geelong until 2014.

The federal and state governments will give more than $A40 million to the plant, which has been under review since February.

Alcoa blames the high Australian dollar and a low aluminium price for its woes, but is hopeful market conditions will change over the next two years.

The ABC reports the smelter currently has 600 employees but Alcoa wants to shed around 60 jobs through voluntary redundancies as it looks to find ongoing savings.

The federal government is contributing most of the $A40 million and the Victorian government is putting up $A4 million to go into a fund to help Alcoa's supply chain.

Managing director Alan Cransberg says Alcoa believes the bailout will be a one-off and he is confident the smelter has a strong future.