AGL has curtailed electricity supply to the Tomago Aluminium Smelter on two occasions this week, and the federal opposition says it's bad news for the Hunter economy.
The energy giant is arguing the smelter accepted a commercial agreement to reduce output rather than pay increased power bills.
The curtailment follows energy shortages at Bayswater and Liddell power stations earlier this week, while there was also a limited amount of power emerging from Victoria via the interstate interconnector.
Tomago Smelter claims a thermal imbalance resulted from the power limitations imposed for 45 minutes on Tuesday night and again for two hours on Thursday evening, as workers attempted to restore the potline system.
Hunter MP Joel Fitzgibbon is pointing the finger at the Prime Minister's attempts to revive the ageing Liddell station, which is set to close in 2022, rather than developing new strategies.
"The under capacity we have in electricity supply is the result of years of policy inaction by the Abbott and Turnbull governments," Mr Fitzgibbon said.
"We can't fix that mistake now, but we can ask Malcolm Turnbull to get out of the way and allow AGL to build the new generation capacity they are promising here in the Hunter."
Joel Fitzgibbon and Paterson MP, Meryl Swanson fear Hunter jobs may be lost if we keep following this trajectory.
"Tomago Aluminium and its workforce are paying the price for five years of energy policy inaction..." Ms Swanson said.
|Image: Tomago Aluminium.|