an aerial view of the early stages of Rio Tinto Alcan's Kitimat Modernization Project.

Rio Tinto Alcan getting modern in Kitimat

Kitimat is enjoying an economic boom and leading the increase in activity is the modernization of the Rio Tinto Alcan aluminum plant.

Kitimat is enjoying an economic boom unlike anything in the past three decades and leading the increase in activity is the modernization of the Rio Tinto Alcan aluminum plant.

The $3.5 billion Kitimat Modernization Project (KMP) was announced in December 2011 and, since that time, the number of workers and companies setting up in town has only risen. At the end of February, there were 2,400 workers involved in the project with 1,300 of the 1,760 beds in the KMP camp filled and single-digit vacancy rates being experienced throughout town.

But those 2,400 workers are just the tip of the iceberg. KMP general manager Gaby Poirier expects the number of workers to peak in June when the camp and a 500-bed cruise ship, brought in to house workers, are both expected to be at capacity.

The project itself will increase the production of the nearly 60-year-old plant by 48 per cent to approximately 420,000 tonnes while utilizing more cost-effective, energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly technology than what is currently on site. The project itself is more than 65 per cent complete with construction of the new lines and plant components 40 per cent complete. The modernized 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.

Poirier said the company is anticipating the commissioning of the plant and the first pour of aluminum will take place in the first quarter of 2015. Once the modernization is complete, the number of employees at the Kitimat plant will drop from 1,200 to 1,000, with the company planning to use natural attrition to make up most of the reduction in workers.

For more information on the project, visit

Just Posted

Police encourage reporting of suspicious events following reports involving children

Terrace RCMP are asking the public to report any suspicious adult interactions… Continue reading

Soup kitchen sees “groundswell of community support”

Donations toward looming tax bill push non-profit back in the black

College buys a yurt to boost student success

Round tent-like structure part of college instructional shift

Terrace husband and wife honoured for saving each other’s lives

BC Ambulance presented each a Vital Link Award for separate incidents of CPR

Council supports lobby for fair share of cannabis tax revenue

The City of Terrace is throwing its support behind a West Kelowna… Continue reading

Testing the Google Arts & Culture app

Going face to face with art

VIDEO: Fuel truck and train collide in B.C. causing massive fire

More emergency crews are still arriving on scene of a massive fire at the Port Coquitlam rail yard.

Back to work: U.S. government shutdown ends after Democrats relent

Short-term spending measure means both sides could see another shutdown stalemate in three weeks

Man lives despite malfunctioning defibrillator at B.C. arena

A middle-aged man went into cardiac arrest after at game at Pitt Meadows Arena last Wednesday.

Cause of Northern B.C. seaplane crash released

TSB releases report on seaplane crash during a water landing in 2016 near First Nations community

Vancouver police crack down on pop-up pot vendors

Officers raided merchants’ tables on Robson Square late Sunday

Bell Media, NFL take appeal over Super Bowl ad rules to top court

At issue is a ban on substituting American ads with Canadian ones during the game’s broadcast

Crown seeks 4.5 years jail for B.C. woman convicted of counselling tax evasion

Debbie Anderson the latest from group to face jail for teaching debunked ‘natural person’ theory

UPDATE: Brother of B.C. teen killed by stray bullet says the death left a void

Alfred Wong, 15, was gunned down in Vancouver while on his way home from dinner with his family

Most Read