13/06/2008 - 11:51

Gas blast prompts Rio energy review

13/06/2008 - 11:51

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Rio Tinto has brought forward routine maintenance plans at its Pilbara iron ore operations following the explosion at the Varanus Island gas facility last week.

Gas blast prompts Rio energy review

Rio Tinto has brought forward routine maintenance plans at its Pilbara iron ore operations following the explosion at the Varanus Island gas facility last week.

Spokesperson Gervase Green told WA Business News the maintenance plans involved shutting down one machine for around two to four hours, and did not affect overall production.

He said in light of the current gas situation it was sensible and prudent to review the group's operations, and prioritise energy needs where needed.

Rio normally buys two-thirds of its natural gas from Apache Energy. It is currently using diesel and other alternative fuel to power its WA operations including ports and railways.

Mr Green added the Varanus Island incident has not significantly impacted production. Final output numbers would be known at the end of the month.

Rio's maintenance plans follows a warning issued by Alinta yesterday that the state's gas crisis could worsen with the onset of colder weather and investigations into the explosion take longer than expected.

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