Kurri Kurri smelter: Hydro’s polluting problem child

The soon to be closed Kurri Kurri smelter is Hydro’s heaviest polluting and debunks the myth that somehow Australian production plants are environmentally cleaner and better than plants operating overseas.

Kurri Kurri is by far the most carbon polluting smelter amongst the global aluminium company Hydro’s global portfolio of smelters, with its other Australian smelter the only other that comes close.

The table below illustrates that because of Kurri Kurri’s highly emissions intensive electricity supply as well as its poor energy efficiency, the amount of CO2 produced per unit of production is 370 per cent higher than Hydro’s global average.   

Polluting companies have been exploiting Australians’ xenophobia and misplaced sense of superiority for more than a decade to fend off the introduction of a carbon tax or trading scheme. This idea that somehow Australian production plants are environmentally cleaner and better than plants operating overseas just doesn’t withstand scrutiny.

Emissions profile for Hydro’s aluminium smelter portfolio (equity basis)

Sources: Hydro 2011 Annual Report; World Resources Institute Climate Analysis Indicator Tool; Grattan Institute (2010)

Analysis on the impact of the carbon price on the aluminium smelter can be found here.

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