BRITISH COLUMBIA RIO TINTO ALCAN of Montreal is proceeding with the US$500-million modernization of its Kitimat aluminum smelter, with parent company Rio Tinto promising another US$300 million on top of the US$200 million it committed earlier. The money is earmarked for an anode baking furnace, electrical substation, casthouse, construction camp and ancillary services.
The modernization of the Kitimat aluminum smelter will increase its current production rate by more than 60% to approximately 400,000 t/y from 245,00 t/y. Rio Tinto Alcan’s proprietary AP technology is likely the most cost effective, energy efficient, and environmentally friendly smelting technology available, allowing the modernized plant to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 40% per year.
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