The largest aluminum smelter in the Americas, established in Sept-Îles, has broken a production record since it began operations in 1992. The Alouette smelter produced more than 620,000 tonnes of gray gold last year thanks to technological change. .
Some $ 100 million was invested until last November for the implementation of AP40 technology in electrolytic cells.
“We have increased the amount of energy in each of the tanks and, to be able to do this, it takes conditions of pot lining, thermal balance, this is what this technology allows to do” explained the new president and chief on Wednesday. from the direction of the aluminum smelter, Claude Gosselin, who took office the week behind.
The man, originally from the North Shore, worked for 25 years at the Alouette aluminum smelter before taking up new challenges in Trois-Rivières a few years ago. His professional goals are simple: “For the factory to be more competitive, for the organization to be healthy,” he told TVA Nouvelles.
The Alouette aluminum smelter plans to complete its project to convert its anode baking ovens to natural gas this year. This is a $ 23 million project, two-thirds funded by the Government of Quebec. And almost an additional $ 40 million will be invested in 2021 for various modernization and asset maintenance projects.
Claude Gosselin predicts that the five owners of the consortium will continue to invest in excess of $ 30 million per year to ensure the future of the aluminum smelter.
“These are shareholders who believe in the plant and its potential. This message is solidly there. ”
The 3rd phase of the aluminum smelter is still on ice. The aluminum market conditions are not favorable for this major $ 2 billion expansion project for which Alouette has already obtained commitments from Quebec for its energy supply.
“You never know, the markets change, the needs change, but for the moment it’s not something that we look at,” concluded Claude Gosselin.