Dow to shut Altona factory

Dow Chemical has announced that it will shut its Altona plant, shedding 26 jobs, citing international competition and rising gas prices among factors.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the factory has been operating since the 1970s.
“There [were] a range of factors that have impacted the plant’s economic viability,” the article cites Dow’s Australia and New Zealand president and managing director, Karen Dobson, as saying yesterday.
“Energy is one of a number of factors considered in the assessment, including increasing operations and manufacturing costs … No single factor drove the assessment conclusion.”
High east coast gas prices are putting pressure on energy-intensive manufacturing companies and others. The Australian reports that the peak users’ group, the Energy Users Association of Australia, will meet federal energy minister Angus Taylor and resources minister Matt Canavan to request the establishment of a commonwealth gas company and a short-term domestic gas support fund.
Separately, a major international competitiveness survey released today ranked Australia’s energy infrastructure 55th out of 63 nations surveyed.
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