Kitimat aluminium smelter completes extensive modernisation

first_imgThe modernisation of the Kitimat aluminium smelter will increase production capacity by 48% and result in it becoming one of the lowest cost smelters in the world. Rio Tinto is now focused on safely ramping up towards its annual production rate of 420,000 t. The modernised smelter, which was delivered in line with the revised schedule and budget, is powered exclusively by Rio Tinto’s wholly owned hydro power facility and uses the company’s proprietary AP40 smelting technology which will effectively halve the smelter’s overall emissions.Aluminium chief executive Alf Barrios said “The modernisation of Kitimat will fundamentally transform its performance, moving it from the fourth quartile to the first decile of the industry cost curve. At full production, Kitimat will be one of the most efficient, greenest and lowest-cost smelters in the world.“Positioned in British Columbia on the west coast of Canada, Kitimat is well placed to serve rapidly growing demand for aluminium in the Asia-Pacific region and to serve the North American market.”The Haisla Nation Council said: “The Haisla Nation congratulates Rio Tinto on the completion of the Kitimat project. We supported this because it would allow the aluminium smelting operations to continue but with significantly lower levels of environmental contamination. The project also created employment, training and contracting opportunities for our community. These have always been, and remain, key Haisla Nation priorities. Now comes the hard part: the Haisla Nation and Rio Tinto must continue to build on the momentum created by the Legacy Agreement and the modernisation process. This will require diligent hard work on issues that will sometimes be difficult, including long term employment of Haisla Nation members at Rio Tinto, continued environmental diligence and collaborative development opportunities. We have taken some significant steps ahead with Rio Tinto: we look forward to continuing this journey together”Mayor Phil Germuth, District of Kitimat: “The District of Kitimat is very excited to be a part of Rio Tinto’s First Hot Metal celebrations for its new Kitimat smelter. The Kitimat modernisation project has been a great economic stimulus for the community for the past number of years and the start-up is a key milestone that will provide certainty to the community for another 50 or 60 years. Rio Tinto’s modernisation project has provided Kitimat with valuable knowledge. As a result of this project, Kitimat has current experience on the construction of a large industrial project within its boundaries. As the community prepares for LNG development we will use these lessons learned to prepare for LNG projects. It is a very exciting time for Kitimat. Congratulations Rio Tinto Alcan for achieving this significant milestone.”The Kitimat Economic Development Authority: “With the start-up of Rio Tinto Alcan’s new smelter, and its First Hot Metal event, we feel that it is a strong signal to other potential investors that Kitimat and the region is now ready for another mega project. Through Rio Tinto’s construction the company has been committed to support local businesses and working hard to hire as many local people as possible. Their initiatives to help develop local businesses and train local people has not only provided an economic stimulus, but has set the stage for local businesses to take advantage of any new opportunities coming to the area.  Investing $4.8 billion dollars in the new plant will ensure Kitimat will have anchor industry for decades to come.”last_img

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