Alcoa owned both the Anglesea brown coal mine and power station. The power was used to supply Alcoa’s aluminium smelter at Point Henry close to Geelong.
Alcoa shut down the smelter on 1 August 2014. The shutdown was announced in February after the company decided the ageing smelter was no longer financially viable.
With a surplus of power in the grid there was a clear case for the power station to be shut down and for coal mining to cease. However, the Victorian statement government extended the permit for both the mine and the power station. Alcoa attempted to find a buyer for it.
Joint Statement of Support for closure
The following A Joint Statement of Support for the closure of the mine and power station was prepared by Surf Coast Air Action:
In circumstances where the Alcoa Anglesea brown coal mine and power station:
- Emits a toxic cocktail of pollutants, including particulates (recognised carcinogens), Sulphur Dioxide (a significant respiratory irritant), Arsenic, Lead and Mercury;
- Is the equal third highest emitter of Sulphur Dioxide in Australia [39,000,000 kg], with the only higher emitters (Bayswater in the Hunter Valley [63,000,000 kg] and Loy Yang in the Latrobe Valley [49,000,000 kg]) producing 17.6 and 14.7 times more electricity than Anglesea respectively;
- Is inappropriately located in close proximity to homes and a primary school in the National Estate Listed Anglesea Heath;
- No longer has a social licence to continue operating after the closure of the Alcoa Point Henry Smelter which the facility was constructed to feed; and*
- Produces dirty power that is not needed by an already heavily oversupplied National Electricity Market;
the following organisations support Surf Coast Air Action’s ongoing campaign to urge Alcoa to shut down the plant and rehabilitate the mine and to ask any potential purchasers or investors to publicly rule out interest in the plant or mine:
- 350 Australia
- Australian Wind Alliance
- AYCC Victoria
- Centre for Climate Safety
- Climate and Health Alliance
- Doctors for the Environment
- Environment Victoria
- Friends of the Earth
- Geelong Environment Council
- Geelong Sustainability
- Green Energy Solutions
- Quit Coal
- Surf Coast Energy Group
- Transition East Geelong
Community rally 10 August 2014
A community rally was held on 10 August 2014 with over 500 people attending. The rally called on the Victorian Energy Minister Russell Northe to revoke the permit for the mine and power station immediately as the power from it is no longer needed and there is no social licence for it to keep operating.
Announcement on 12 May 2015 of closure of power station and coal mine
Alcoa announced on 12 May 2015 that the power station and coal mine would close in August 2015 as they have been unable to find a buyer. 85 workers will be affected by this decision.
Andrew Laird from Surf Coast Air Action called on Alcoa to employ those workers at the plant who did not want to take a package on the massive rehabilitation effort that would need to occur.
- Call to clear the air on Anglesea power plant’s future, The Age
- Wikipedia:Anglesea Power Station
- Point Henry smelter: Sombre days for Alcoa workers as aluminium plant near Geelong winds up, ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
- Alcoa’s Point Henry aluminium smelter in Geelong prepares to close, The Age
- Joint Statement of Support for closure, Surf Coast Air Action
- Hundreds rally for Alcoa coal mine closure, The Age
- Alcoa to shut Anglesea coalmine and power plant, The Age, 12 May 2015