Tomago upbeat despite the slowdown in aluminium industry

Thursday, Aug 22, 2013

Tomago Aluminium believes it is well positioned to ride out the industry downturn after carrying out a restructure to cut costs.

Last year around 100 jobs were axed at Tomago, around the same time the other Hunter smelter at Kurri Kurri was forced to shut its operations.

One of Australia's largest producers, Alcoa, has forecast a seven per cent increase in prices for the metal this year and the industry's also been buoyed by a fall in the Australian dollar.

Global over-supply of aluminium is the latest challenge facing producers, but Tomago spokesman Warren Brooks expects the plant can survive without the need to shed more jobs.

"We had to face the difficulty of making a reorganisation last year," he said.

"This year has been much more a continued focus on cost reduction.

"There are no specific plans for further redundancies at this stage, but costs and cost control remain very important for us."

As the company prepares to mark its 30th anniversary, Mr Brooks says Tomago Aluminium can survive the industry downturn by becoming more cost-effective.

"Cost savings are really across the board, with every opportunity to reduce the cost of production and leaving no stone unturned," he said.

"All the inputs to the operation, we're looking at and we've made some significant gains with both the help of our workforce and our service providers and contractors.

"So everyone's contributed to making things more competitive."

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