MONTREAL – Rio Tinto Alcan has announced plans to update its Canadian aluminum smelters with approximately US$1.75 billion to be spent in Quebec and British Columbia.
Most of the money, US$758 million, will be spent to finish the first phase of the AP60 plant in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, QC. By 2013 the 38 new pots will boost annual capacity by 60,000 tonnes of aluminum to 460,000 t/y. The efficient, low cost AP60 was developed by Rio Tinto in France. When the first phase becomes operational, the Arvida R&D Centre in Jonquiere, QC, will lead the commercialization of the technology.
Rio Tinto will spend another US$300 million for further construction in preparation for the US$2.5-billion modernization of the Kitimat aluminum smelter in British Columbia. Output is to be boosted 48% to 420,000 t/y using hydroelectric power and the AP technology. Final approval is expected in 2011.
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