Rio Tinto Alcan to make announcement Thursday about Kitimat growth plans

Rio Tinto Alcan has called a news conference for Thursday, December 1 in Kitimat “to make an announcement regarding
the company’s multi-billion dollar growth plans.”

BC Premier Christy Clark, Rio Tinto CEO Jacynthe Cote, Jean Simon, president, RTA Primary Metal North America, Paul Henning, RTA vice president, British Columbia Operations & Strategic Projects, Western Canada and key regional stakeholders and First Nations representatives will be at the announcement at the Kitimat Modernization site during the noon hour.

The RTA news release says the announcement will be a significant event for Kitimat, the northwest region of the province, and all of British Columbia. It is likely, especially with the BC premier in attendance, the RTA is giving the go ahead for the long planned $2.5 billion smelter modernization project.


Sources have told Northwest Coast Energy News that applicants for jobs at the Kitimat Modernization Project, where the prime contractor is Bechtel, were told during the past month to wait until the end of November and that time, the applicants were told, there would probably be between 500 and 550 jobs available.

The Globe and Mail reports:

Rio Tinto to go ahead with Kitimat smelter expansion

Rio Tinto Alcan is pushing ahead with construction of a $3.3-billion (U.S.) smelter in Kitimat, B.C., even as stagnant prices have spurred a selloff of other aluminum assets.

London-based Rio Tinto PLC, which acquired Montreal-based aluminum giant Alcan for $38.1-billion in 2007, is expected to announce Thursday it has final approval to modernize the 57-year-old smelter to double its capacity

Approval will see Rio spend another $2.7-billion on Kitimat, after already setting aside $650-million towards the upgrade, raising the construction price tag more than 30 per cent from $2.5-billion. The plan includes demolishing a building and clearing space for a new plant.