21 Sep 2013

Cuts foreshadowed at aluminium plant in NT

7:24 am on 21 September 2013

Rio Tinto is again considering reducing operations at an alumina refinery in the Northern Territory.

In a statement to employees on Friday, Gove operations general manager Ryan Cavanagh said the option of curtailing production is back on the agenda after the latest gas supply offer from the territory government.

He said the state government originally committed itself in February to release 300 petajoules of gas to the refinery, but has since since amended the volume to 175 petajoules.

Mr Cavanagh said the company was considering what this likely amount of gas would mean for its refinery operations.

He said no decision had been made and employees would be informed as soon as possible about the future of the refinery.

The ABC reports the refinery operator, Pacific Aluminium, a Rio Tinto subsidiary, earlier this year said that operating the refinery using expensive liquid fuels was no longer economical.