Further jobs could be cut at Bell Bay smelter due to Tasmanian power crisis

More jobs could be cut at Tasmania’s Bell Bay smelter due to the state’s energy crisis, caused by record low dam levels and a broken Basslink cable.

More jobs could be cut at Tasmania’s Bell Bay smelter due to the state’s energy crisis, caused by record low dam levels and a broken Basslink cable.

The ABC reports that production has been cut by a tenth in the last four to five months at the six decade-old smelter, which consumes roughly a quarter of the state’s energy.

"Right now we are getting to a point where this is as low as we can operate,” general manager Ray Mostogl told the ABC.

The site, 45 kilometres from Launceston, employs 1,500. It has laid off an unspecified number of contractors lately, and further power rationing could see more jobs lost.

"If we were to take any more power off we would have to be cutting some of those furnaces out," Mostogl added.

The smelter is owned by Rio Tinto’s Pacific Aluminium and is the oldest in the Southern Hemisphere. It produces ingot, block, and T-bar aluminium.