Tinto Alcan Inc. wants the province of Quebec to provide
cheaper energy to its manufacturing sector, including the
three-quarters of the worlds aluminum smelters benefit
from power prices lower than those available to large
industrial users in Quebec, Étienne Jacques, chief
operating officer of the Montreal-based aluminum
producers North American primary metal segment, said in a
statement. "For Rio Tinto Alcan, competitive energy for the
aluminum industry is one of the key components of sustainable
The aluminum industry
relies on competitive energy prices, "and Quebec has an
opportunity to secure its position as a leading aluminum
producer in the world," Rio Tinto Alcan primary metal president
and chief executive officer Arnaud Soirat said in a
remarks come during a public consultation on energy issues in
Quebec and following similar comments in the past week by the
Aluminium Association of Canada.
Energy prices have
dropped in almost every aluminum-producing region of the world,
including in the United States, where power prices are as much
as half those available in Quebec, Jean Simard, president and
general manager of the association, said in a statement. "The
only input over which the industry has no control is the cost
of energy ... and that is the only area in which our smelters
now struggle to compete."
industry accounts for approximately 10,000 direct jobs and
20,000 indirect jobs, and is responsible for about 10 percent
of the provinces exports, Simard said, citing a study by
consulting firm Deloitte. Aluminum smelters also pump $3
billion annually into the provinces economy, he said.
One producer source
told AMM that Quebec has lost its status as a low-cost
place to produce aluminum, with power costs similar to those in
Europe and the United States before the shale gas revolution.
"We need a lower power rate if were going to invest in
new aluminum capacity," he said.