Alcan pledges $1B in 2011 to revisit long-standing expansion projects

Dec 14, 2010 | 02:34 PM |

Rio Tinto Alcan has pledged more than $1 billion in funding to press ahead with longstanding green- and brownfield projects in Canada, including the first phase of its new smelter at Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean in Quebec and work on the modernization of its Kitimat smelter in British Columbia.

Both projects in Canada have been in the pipeline for several years but were delayed due to the global economic crisis.

An improvement in the aluminum market has justified the investment announced Tuesday, a company spokesman said.

The first phase of the Saguenay plant, which will replace the existing 170,000-tonne Arvida smelter, will cost $758 million and will include 38 posts with annual capacity of 60,000 tonnes of aluminum. Production is expected to start in 2013.

The smelter will use the latest version of the company's AP60 technology rather than the planned AP50.

The initial step will also include infrastructure required for two subsequent phases, which would bring output to 460,000 tonnes per year. The smelter will be powered by hydroelectricity.....

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