You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Talks 'difficult' for Vic smelter rescue

AAP logoAAP 19/12/2016 Kaitlyn Offer

International negotiations to keep a struggling aluminium smelter open in Victoria's southwest are going to be difficult, says the state's treasurer.

Federal and Victorian industry ministers Greg Hunt and Wade Noonan are flying to New York on Monday to meet with senior global leaders of Alcoa to try and secure a future for the Portland facility.

A new power station for the region is among offers being made to Alcoa in a bid to keep the smelter alive and reduce its vulnerability to power cuts.

Earlier this month, the smelter was crippled when it lost power for five-and-a-half hours after an interconnector from Victoria to South Australia failed.

On Monday, Treasurer Tim Pallas told reporters Victoria and the federal government were working together on the issue.

"I think it's going to be a difficult negotiation, I think we just have to wait and see what comes out of those negotiations," he said.

The future of the smelter, which employs more than 500 people directly, has been under a cloud for some time.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed in February Alcoa was in talks with the government about the pressures it was facing.

In May, workers at the plant agreed to a one-year pay freeze to allow for conditions to stabilise, saving the company $1.5 million.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon