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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-04976: Kate Forbes (Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 23 November 2016

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on the outcome of Rio Tinto's strategic review of the Lochaber assets.

Answered by: Fergus Ewing 23 November 2016

Rio Tinto informed its workforce and the Stock Exchange this morning (Wednesday 23 November 2016) that it had reached agreement to sell its shareholding in Alcan Aluminium UK. This comprises the aluminium smelter at Fort William, two hydroelectric facilities as well as all associated land. The announcement marks the culmination of the strategic review announced in January 2016.

The last ten months have been an anxious wait for the workforce and all those whose livelihoods in the Lochaber community depend on the business. The sale to the GFG Alliance (SIMEC and Liberty House) is great news for the local community and especially for the workers at the Fort William smelter. Subject to final agreement which is expected next month, this deal safeguards over 150 jobs and has the potential to create hundreds more.