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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Carbon tax and Australian jobs

The Coalition claims job losses at Penrice Soda in South Australia are due to the carbon tax.

  1. Penrice Soda was losing money for 2 years BEFORE the carbon tax began.
  2. Its market for sodium carbonate was disappearing as glass manufacturer after glass manufacturer either closed factories or scaled back operations.
  3. On closing its antiquated, inefficient plant, Penrice Soda signed an import licence under which it will supply Australian glass manufacturers with the cheapest available sodium carbonate from the world's most efficient producer - in the United States of America.
  4. This U.S. manufacturer implemented carbon capture and re-use technology 35 years ago. Instead of dumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, it uses it as a raw material in the efficient production of sodium carbonate.

1. Penrice Soda lost $90 million in the two years to 30 June 2012 - before the carbon tax

October 30, 2012 | Brian Robins | SMH
Penrice Soda first company to strike out

The company has been hit by weak demand for its soda ash from glassmakers, as some winemakers have opted to bottle their product offshore, reducing demand for glass produced locally.

Penrice Soda lost $64 million in the year to June, up from $26 million a year earlier, on revenue of $149 million. (Read more ...)

2. Australian glass manufacturers were closing down before 30 June 2012 - before the carbon tax

November 30, 2010
Penrice increases list prices of soda ash

Dear Valued Customers,

Penrice announces today that effective 1 January 2011 ... it will increase the list prices for all bulk and packaged soda ash by $60 per metric tonne (to prices from $535 to $655 per metric tonne). (Read more ...)

July 20, 2011
Glass Manufacturing Jobs in Australia 457 Visa Sponsorship

Are you looking for an employer sponsored job in Australia in the glass manufacturing field?

If so, we want to hear from you! (Read more ...)

September 2, 2011 Sarah Falson | Manufacturers' Monthly
CSR cuts 100 jobs at Viridian Glass

Viridian Glass is now expected to generate a loss of around $6 to $8 million for the six months to 30 September 2011. (Read more ...)

January 23, 2012 | Annie Dang | Manufacturers' Monthly
Glass manufacturer shuts down furnace; 74 jobs lost

Glass manufacturer OI Australia will close one of its three furnaces in Spotswood leaving approximately 74 workers without jobs.

Production at the Melbourne-based Spotswood plant is largely geared at making glass bottles for the beer and wine industry.

The closure of one furnace comes as a result of a fall in demand for beer and wine production nationally, the ABC reports. (Read more ...)

July 30, 2012 | Eli Greenblat | SMH
More cuts loom as bottle giant blames local market

THE world's leading glass packaging supplier, Owens-Illinois, could again be forced to shrink its Australia operations, leading to potential job losses, as the US manufacturing giant cites a sluggish local beer and wine market. (Read more ...)

3. Penrice Soda signs agreement to supply soda - 40 percent cheaper for its customers

January 17, 2013
Penrice forms joint venture to resell and distribute soda ash

Penrice’s sodium bicarbonate business, a predominantly export business to food and pharmaceutical customers, has doubled sales and profits over the past five years.

Penrice’s soda ash business has been under extraordinary pressure. Imported soda ash continues to be substantially (over 40%) cheaper because of a number of factors which are likely to continue for the foreseeable future...

These same pressures are also playing out across Penrice’s soda ash customer base - mainly glass and detergent manufacturers - creating significantly less demand for soda ash.

The company has decided to import soda ash rather than manufacture it. This will reduce production and impact 60 jobs at its Osborne plant in South Australia from May 2013 onwards.

The soda ash will be sourced from American Natural Soda Ash Corporation (“ANSAC”), which represents three leading producers of natural soda ash in the United States.  (Read more ...)

4. U.S. manufacturer implemented carbon capture and re-use technology 35 years ago

Start commercial carbon dioxide (CO2) capture

Soda ash, also known as sodium carbonate, is an important inorganic chemical that is used by many industries for various applications. The United States is the world's largest soda ash-producing nation with the world's largest natural deposit of trona, the ore from which soda ash is refined.

The IMC Chemicals Facility in Trona has been performing CO2 capture from flue gas since 1978, longer than any other such plant in the world. CO2 is separated from flue gas of a coal-fired boiler, which is used to produce electricity. The captured CO2 is used for carbonation of brine from Searles Lake.

This facility is able to capture up to 800 tons of CO2 per day, using sodium carbonate based scrubbers. (Read more ...)