By Andrew Bolt ~
The Whyalla wipe-out is indeed happening but in slow motion and energy-intensive industries die:
[Steel-maker] Arrium owes money to 16 bank… The troubled steelmaker announced after its half-yearly results it may be forced to mothball its Whyalla operations if it cannot turnaround its financial fortunes.
About 10 per cent of the city’s working population is employed by Arrium.
Mr Sowerby said the city of Whyalla, which has a population of about 22,000, would be devastated if the steelworks shut.
Adding to gloom that has engulfed Whyalla in recent times, 15 OneSteel refractory contractors were told on Tuesday they no longer had jobs.
This follows the loss of around 1000 jobs since the start of last year. About 3000 people are employed via Arrium’s mining and steel operations in Whyalla.
Labor frontbencher David Feeney is foolishly calling for government assistance – having learned nothing from the car industry boondoggle – but the real lesson is our uncompetitiveness and dangerous dependence on China’s boom lasting:
The chief executive of Arrium Steel, Steve Hamer, says that conditions in the steel industry are the worst he’s ever seen and that the government is not protecting the local industry from steel dumping…
Globally a huge excess of steelmaking capacity and slowing demand from China, which produces half the world’s steel, has resulted in a glut of supply, tanking steel prices.
These industries are exactly the sort most endangered by green policies.
South Australia is the state with the most wind power and, of course, the highest electricity prices – so expect more such closures:
Major electricity users in South Australian industries such as steel and manufacturing are at greater risk of going under in the next two years as power prices surge, industry warns.
Future markers for energy are predicting the state wholesale price to increase by 50 per cent over the next two years and reach about double that in competitor states like Victoria.
Modelling by Deloitte Access Economics also raises fears of blackouts, as the rise of intermittent renewable energy forces fossil fuel baseload facilities like Port Augusta’s out of business.
The South Australian Liberals warned in February that green power costs jobs:
“South Australia’s jolt in electricity prices is hurting job creation at the very moment we are in the middle of deepening jobs crisis,” said Mr van Holst Pellekaan.
“High power prices don’t just hurt major industrial companies like Arrium, it hurts job creation across South Australia and will entrench high levels of unemployment in our state.
“The Weatherill Government’s over-zealous rush into wind power is directly responsible for the surging price of electricity in South Australia.”
In December the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) noted: The rise in base futures mirrored volatility in South Australian spot prices, which in the September quarter, averaged $69 per MWH – at least 50 per cent higher than in any other region.
I am not saying high power prices may have killed Arrium. I am saying that they help make industries uncompetitive.
Andrew Bolt’s columns appear in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Adelaide’s Advertiser. He runs the most-read political blog in Australia and hosts Channel 10’s The Bolt Report each Sunday at 10am. He is also heard from Monday to Friday at 8am on the breakfast show of radio station MTR 1377, and his book Still Not Sorry remains very widely read.