Refinery under review

Refinery under review

The Kwinana Refinery employs about 1000 people and is the least profitable of WA’s refineries.

A spokesman for Alcoa Australia said media reports this week that Kwinana Refinery could be affected were ‘pure speculation’ because no sites had been singled out.

The Kwinana Refinery has a rated capacity of 2.19 million tonnes per annum, while Pinjarra has 4.234 mtpa and Wagerup 2.555 mtpa.

Alcoa also has refineries in Spain, the US, Suriname and Brazil and will review 500,000 metric tonnes of smelting capacity and 2.8 million metric tons of refining capacity for possible curtailment or divestiture.

Nineteen per cent of its smelting capacity and 7 per cent of its refining capacity idle.

Kwinana Industries Council director Chris Oughton said it is important for all businesses to periodically carry out efficiency reviews.

‘Market conditions change continuously and any company that is not considering the effects of those changes is effectively losing ground against its competition,’ he said.

Kwinana Mayor Carol Adams said Alcoa had not specified any impact on Australian operations, so it would be inappropriate to speculate on whether Kwinana will be affected at this point.

‘Alcoa’s Kwinana refinery has been a major employer in our area for more than 50 years and we will work with industry however we can to assist their long-term sustainability,’ Cr Adams said.

‘Alcoa continues to take decisive action, transforming its upstream portfolio to create a lower cost, globally competitive commodity business,’ Alcoa Global Primary Products president Bob Wilt said.

‘We’ll take action only after a thorough strategic review to determine the best outcome for our shareholders and in consultation with our stakeholders,’ he said.