MONTREAL—Rio Tinto Alcan has inaugurated a US$1.1-billion aluminium smelter in Quebec that has an installed capacity of 60,000-tonnes of aluminium.
The plant, located about 200 kilometres north of Quebec City in Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean, Que., employs 135 people and is touted as the most technologically advanced aluminium smelter in the world.
“(This) milestone is the result of years of work by our research and development teams, particularly the teams that first conceived, developed and tested the AP60 technology at the Laboratoire de recherche des fabrications (LRF) in France,” company chief executive Jacynthe Côté said in a statement.
“The innovative new AP60 technology platform will also allow for the development of a series of next generation technologies permitting further improvements in productivity, and reductions in energy and environmental footprint.”
The smelter will produce 40 per cent more aluminium per cell than the previous generation of AP technology, according to the company.
It reached full capacity in December 2013.
“The new AP60 plant clearly illustrates Rio Tinto Alcan’s commitment to innovation and our strategy to focus on projects that will increase our competitiveness through productivity and that leverage our unparalleled hydro power position, further reducing our environmental footprint,” Côté said.