Bell Bay Aluminium’s gas transportation arrangements have been extended as an interim measure until the end of 2017 to ensure continued supply while Hydro Tasmania and Tasmanian Gas Pipeline continue to negotiate a new agreement.
As one of the five largest consumers in the State, natural gas is integral to the smelter’s processes. Natural gas is primarily used to bake carbon anodes in the aluminium smelting process and control temperature of molten aluminium inside furnaces in the casting process.
Ray Mostogl, general manager said “Given the recent uncertainty surrounding our existing gas pipeline contract we were in the process of identifying and mobilising alternate fuel supplies to ensure the smelter’s ongoing operation in the absence of a continuing and reliable gas supply.
While Bell Bay Aluminium won’t speculate on the willingness of Tasmanian Gas Pipeline to extend the current arrangements as an interim measure, in late July Minister Groom and the Tasmanian Government successfully lobbied the States and Territories at COAG to bring forward the start date for arbitration from 1 September to 1 August, 2017.”
“Bell Bay Aluminium and other major Tasmanian gas users are seeking a reliable supply of competitively priced gas. This outcome is contingent on all major stakeholders landing an agreed position which meets the "what is best for Tasmania as a whole" criteria. This extension is the first step in delivering that outcome to users,” said Mr Mostogl.
Bell Bay Aluminium will continue to work with Hydro Tasmania, Tasmanian Gas Pipeline and the State Government to ensure continued supply from January 2018 onwards.