A $550-million Christmas gift for Quebec with a long string attached

Dec 15, 2006 | 10:40 AM | Brian Dunn

Just in time for Christmas, Alcan Inc. has unwrapped the first phase of a $1.8-billion, 10-year plan it promises will make Quebec "the crossroads of the aluminum industry."

At a hastily called press conference late last week, the Montreal-based aluminum producer said that with support from the government of Quebec and the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union, it would build a $550-million pilot plant using Alcan's proprietary AP50 smelting technology at its Jonquière, Quebec, site. The pilot plant, expected to produce about 60,000 tonnes of aluminum per year, will be a platform for future generations of AP50 technology.

Engineering for the pilot plant is scheduled to start in the next couple of weeks, with construction expected to begin in 2008 and the first metal delivered in late 2010. ....

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