October 29, 2019 / 11:16 PM / a month ago

Australia's AGL vows to try to keep aluminum smelter customers open

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - AGL Energy, Australia’s largest power producer, said on Wednesday it is working hard to ensure its two biggest single customers, the Portland and Tomago aluminum smelters, remain open.

“We will work as a good citizen to do everything we can to keep those smelters going,” AGL Chief Executive Brett Redman told analysts at an investor briefing.

Portland smelter operator Alcoa Inc and Tomago co-owner Rio Tinto have both flagged that their smelting operations are struggling with low aluminum prices and high alumina input costs.

Soaring power prices have hit Tomago as well, while Portland has survived with the help of subsidies from the state of Victoria and the Australian government through June 2021.

Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Himani Sarkar

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