Rio Tinto invests to maintain anode production at its Grande-Baie aluminum smelter

19 June 2024

Rio Tinto will invest 165 million US dollars  at its Grande-Baie aluminum smelter to repair two anode baking furnaces which are reaching the end of their useful life. The company will also carry out feasibility studies for the possible replacement of purifiers and overhead cranes at the anode production center.

The work to reconstruct the concrete envelope and the refractory of the anode baking ovens will be spread over two years, in 2025 and 2026. The new equipment will make it possible to continue to supply the Grande-Baie factories competitively with anodes. and Laterrière for decades to come.

Rio Tinto will offset carbon emissions linked to the construction project through various initiatives, such as planting trees near the aluminum smelter.

Martin Lavoie, director of operations for the Grande-Baie and Laterrière plants, declared: “The refurbishment of the anode baking furnaces at our Grande-Baie aluminum smelter is an important investment which will help ensure the sustainability and competitiveness of aluminum production. responsible aluminum in the region for decades to come and will generate significant economic benefits. We are very excited to carry out this project over the coming years, in collaboration with our local employees and business partners. »

The majority of economic spinoffs associated with the project will be in Quebec. At the peak of the work, approximately 185 workers will be present on the site.

Rio Tinto completed the replacement of its anode baking furnaces at its Alma aluminum smelter in 2021.