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Looking Through the Green Triangle Window

Portland Aluminium, with an annual turn-over of $550M per year and employing hundreds of locals is currently facing the challenge that they may cease production in the coming years. The potential closure is relating to the inability to secure a new power contract for the plant that most people have come to put on a pedestal as the towns major employer.

What is our regions strategy?

Other industrial businesses in the town have been working diligently to pick up the slack and remove their eggs from one basket in a bid to maintain the towns proud stance as the Great South Coast’s industrial epicentre.

Ranging from 160 metre giant wind towers that populate our state’s landscapes produced at Keppel Prince to the 5.36 million tonnes of product handled last financial year at the Port of Portland, the two next largest business in town are evolving and expanding.

And there is a new player emerging from the shadows. One that has the potential to further invigorate the region and push it into the spotlight for whole world to see. It has the potential to produce 3,000 tonnes of green fuel per annum, using green fuel to do so setting the benchmark high.

So, what is it?

A mass production hydrogen processing plant is being scoped by the Committee for Portland for the Heywood area with potential to create 650 new positions and feed our country and the hungry Asian market with the clean fuel. It also has the potential to feed the Hycel project – hydrogen fueled power cell research being spearheaded at Deakin University’s Warrnambool Campus. A project working toward further eliminating fossil fuels.

It’s a matter of when and not if the smelter will cease production. The “when” part is yet to be determined. Portland has no need to be worried, as it is well placed to dominate Victoria’s industrial green scene and lead us into the future.

Jason Van Der Heyden, 2020 Participant

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