Huge relief for smelter over RET decision

BOYNE Smelters general manager Joe Rea is delighted that finally legislation for a bipartisan deal on the renewable energy target (RET) has been passed by the federal parliament.

In a letter to Flynn federal MP Ken O'Dowd, Mr Rea said the RET scheme had cost Boyne Smelters Ltd around $125 million since 2001.

"The aluminium industry has been impacted by this regulatory impost more than any other industry," he wrote."We have continued to face commercial challenges since the Global Financial Crisis, however the removal of regulatory costs such as the RET, which are not faced by any of our competitors, is an important step to secure the long-term future of aluminium smelting in Gladstone."

He said Mr O'Dowd's support, along with that of his colleagues through many years of negotiations could not be underestimated.

Mr Rea told The Observer in March that a reduction in the RET would save BSL $25million a year.

The deal passed through parliament this week reduces the RET from 41 terrawatt hours, which had been set in 2009, to 33 terrawatt hours, with the goal of having renewable forms of energy contributing 20% of Australia's electricity generation.