Alcoa shores up gas supply for Western Australia alumina refineries

Alcoa of Australia has secured three new gas supply agreements which, combined, will supply close to 25% of the company’s requirements in Western Australia from 2020.

The agreements with BHP, Woodside and Chevron, coupled with other gas supply contracts, including with Quadrant Energy and Santos, announced in 2015, complete Alcoa’s gas portfolio to fuel its Kwinana, Pinjarra and Wagerup alumina refineries for the mid-term, the company said.

President, Alcoa Alumina, and Managing Director, Alcoa of Australia, Michael Parker, said: “In securing these new gas contracts we are demonstrating to our employees, suppliers, customers and the communities where we operate our commitment to the state.

“Alcoa’s three WA refineries are the largest integrated source of alumina globally and an important source of economic activity. They provide jobs for more than 3,000 Western Australians, primarily in the state’s south west, and generate some A$1.4 billion ($1.01 billion) in expenditure with WA suppliers.”

Alcoa is Western Australia’s single largest user of natural gas, consuming around 25% of the state’s total domestic gas supply.

Alcoa of Australia is 60% owned by Alcoa Corp and 40% owned by Alumina Limited. It owns and operates two bauxite mines and three alumina refineries in Western Australia, and the Portland aluminium smelter (holding a 55% share) in Victoria. Each year the company mines around 36 Mt of bauxite, refines 9 Mt of alumina and produces 300,000 t of aluminium.