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Aluminium

Volume 709: debated on Wednesday 25 March 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Baroness Vadera on 11 February (WA 185–86), whether the aluminium plant at Wylfa will be closed as a consequence of European Union state aid rules. [HL1518]

In response to global market conditions, Rio Tinto Alcan has recently announced its restructuring plans and also said that it anticipates that it may have to close its aluminium smelting operation at the Holyhead site (Anglesey Aluminium) at the end of September 2009 when its current long-term energy supply contract with the nuclear power station at Wylfa ends. No final decision has been taken yet and we welcome Rio Tinto's willingness to continue to seek a new energy contract and pursue other commercial opportunities for the Anglesey site.

The contract between Anglesey Aluminium Metal (AAM) and the NDA is a commercial matter for the parties and is subject to state aid rules. As well as doing what it can to encourage the company and the NDA to agree a new energy contract, BERR, together with the Welsh Assembly Government and DECC, will continue to work with Anglesey Aluminium to try and help the company find a way forward.