Smelter asks to be exempt from target to avoid job cuts

BOYNE Smelters Ltd has asked to be made exempt from paying $25 million a year under the Federal Government's Renewable Energy Target, or it has said more jobs will be slashed.

The RET is under review to consider its contribution in reducing emissions, its impact on electricity prices and energy markets, and its costs and benefits for the manufacturing sector and Australian households.

But in a submission to the RET review, Boyne Smelter Ltd general manager Joe Rea said BSL could not afford to continue to pay the subsidy.

"Manufacturing aluminium is highly electricity intensive and, as such, is highly exposed to the cost of the Renewable Energy Target," he said.

"Indeed, after the current partial exemption the RET still costs BSL around $25 million per annum."

He urged the panel to support a 100% exemption from the RET on the most exposed manufacturing industries such as aluminium smelting, as the owners of the globally traded commodity had no ability to pass costs through to customers.

"The continuation of these RET costs can only be offset by further reducing workforce and reducing capital expenditure."

Submissions are due on Friday.


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