Rio Tinto invests $240 million in a new center in Alma

Rio Tinto invests $240 million in a new center in Alma


Rio Tinto will invest $240 million to build a new aluminum billet casting center in Alma, Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean.

< p>With this new center, Rio Tinto aims to increase the production capacity of low-carbon aluminum billets at its Alma smelter by 202,000 metric tons.

The existing casting center will be expanded to accommodate new state-of-the-art equipment, including a launder and furnaces.

The company announced on Wednesday morning that construction will begin in May 2023 and commissioning is complete. scheduled for the first quarter of 2025.

This new center should generate economic spinoffs of more than $200 million for Quebec, including $65 million for the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region. In addition, around 40 permanent jobs have been created there.

Increase in demand

“The aluminum billets are extruded through a die and the resulting profiles are used to make various products such as bumpers and roof bars for cars as well as doors and window frames,” said explained Rio Tinto.

The company estimates that global demand should grow on average around 3% per year over the next ten years.

“[This expansion] will allow us to better meet our customers' growing demand for high-quality alloys and value-added products made with renewable hydroelectricity. This new capacity will help strengthen the position of our Alma smelter,” said Rio Tinto Aluminum Executive Director of Atlantic Operations, Sébastien Ross.

“In Quebec, we produce the most aluminum green in the world. It is thanks to modernization projects such as this one that we will be able to maintain our leadership position in this area and contribute to the growth of this strategic sector,” indicated Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of the Economy and of Innovation and Minister responsible for Regional Economic Development of Quebec.