We must fight to keep the smelter

IT is sad to learn that the Aluminium Smelter at Lynemouth is at risk of shutting down. I worked on the installation of the Smelter in the 1970s initially with the consultants, and subsequently with Alcan with the setting to work, commissioning and running of the plant.

Both the smelter and the associated power station were built to programme and with government subsidy were constructed very cheaply and have provided employment for hundreds of people in the region. The plant has been a real success story. It would be criminal to close it down.

The problem is that our commitment under the Climate Change Act, accepted by the last Labour Government and continued by the present Coalition, to spend up to £18billion a year on cutting emissions is driving energy intensive firms such as the Lynemouth Smelter out of business or forcing them abroad.

Half of our aluminium industry disappeared last year to the Middle East, taking hundreds of jobs with it.

Unless Government policy changes our chemical, steel and ceramics industries will follow. Much of the policy of “decarbonising” originates with the EU in Brussels and the UK has followed behind. However, the rest of the world sails on regardless.

When will it become obvious to our politicians that our climate change make-believe policy can only lead to economic suicide?

We have to fight to maintain the smelter.

If it closed tomorrow, it wouldn’t make the slightest difference to overall CO2 emissions as other countries would gladly take up the lost production.



Seaton Sluice