News

Billion dollar smelter project a go

ARTIST
ARTIST'S rendering of Rio Tinto Alcan's planned new aluminum smelter at Kitimat.
— image credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Rio Tinto has given the green light to an additional US$2.7 billion capital investment to modernise its aluminium smelter in Kitimat, British Columbia. This new investment will allow for completion of the US$3.3 billion project in 2014.

The Kitimat modernisation project will increase the smelter's current production capacity by more than 48 per cent to approximately 420,000 tonnes per year. First metal is expected to come on st ream in the first half of 2014, with an expected ramp up of nine months. The modernised smelter will be powered exclusively by  wholly-owned hydropower and use Rio Tinto Alcan's proprietary AP40 smelting technology to reduce  the smelter's carbon dioxide emissions intensity by approximately 50 per cent.

"The modernisation of Kitimat will transform its performance, moving it from the third quartile to the first decile of the industry cost curve, and cut greenhouse gas emissions by about half," said Jacynthe Côté, chief executive of Rio Tinto Alcan. "This project draws on two of our greatest competitive advantages - clean, self-generated hydropower and leading-edge AP smelting technology. Once completed, Kitimat will be one of the most efficient and lowest-cost smelters in the world, and will better position us to serve the rapidly growing demand for aluminium in the Asia-Pacific market."

Jean Simon, president, Primary Metal, Rio Tinto Alcan, said "For nearly 60 years, the smelter has been a major impetus for the economic development of northwest British Columbia. We are very proud to announce this US$2.7 billion investment to complete the modernisation project. This is one of the largest private investments in B.C.'s history, and it will ensure the sustainability of the aluminium business in Kitimat for decades to come."

The modernisation project will secure approximately 1,000 stable, specialised jobs in B.C.'s northwest for the long term, and 2,500 jobs during the peak period of the construction phase.

 

 

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Austin endorses Cullen
 
Terrace, Thornhill amalgamation issue raised
 
Portables at Skeena this fall
UPDATE: B.C. legislature to get security scanner
 
ELECTION 2014: West Kelowna mayoral candidate wants to increase voter turnout
 
Col. Chris Hadfield to speak in Kelowna
SHSS students perform Les Miserables
 
School District shifts major asset
 
Rotary holds Christmas dinner

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 24 edition online now. Browse the archives.