Rio Tinto Revolutionizes Aluminum Smelting with Carbon-Free Know-how in Canada


  • 01-Jul-2024 8:41 PM
  • Journalist: Francis Stokes


Rio Tinto is about to deploy Carbon-free Aluminium smelting cells at its Arvida facility in Québec, Canada, marking a milestone as the primary licensee of ELYSIS expertise. This strategic funding helps the development of ELYSIS expertise whereas enhancing Rio Tinto’s capabilities in set up and operational experience.


Rio Tinto plans to undertake the design, engineering, and development of an indication plant that includes ten pots working at 100 kiloamperes (kA). This facility will probably be established by way of a newly shaped three way partnership, with Rio Tinto and the Authorities of Québec, represented by Investissement Québec, serving as fairness companions. Rio Tinto’s funding within the three way partnership quantities to US$179 million (CAN$235 million), whereas Investissement Québec will contribute US$106 million (CAN$140 million), totaling US$285 million (CAN$375 million).


This facility represents a replication of the confirmed ELYSIS expertise showcased on the Saguenay—Lac-St-Jean Industrial Analysis and Improvement Middle, enjoying an important position in Rio Tinto’s strategic roadmap in direction of reaching full-scale industrialization. The initiative not solely goals to validate the scalability and operational feasibility of carbon-free aluminium manufacturing but additionally underscores the dedication to advancing sustainable expertise options inside the aluminium business.


Scheduled for preliminary manufacturing by 2027, the plant goals to supply as much as 2,500 tonnes of Aluminium yearly, reaching industrial high quality with out direct greenhouse fuel emissions. Positioned adjoining to the Arvida smelter, it leverages current alumina provide and casting infrastructure for operational effectivity.


Rio Tinto Aluminium Chief Government Jérôme Pécresse emphasised that the funding in ELYSIS carbon-free smelting expertise will reinforce Rio Tinto’s management in low-carbon, accountable aluminium manufacturing in North America. With hydro-powered smelters and powerful recycling capabilities, this transfer underscores Rio Tinto’s dedication to decarbonization and growth of its Canadian aluminium operations. Being the primary to undertake ELYSIS expertise, Rio Tinto goals to ship even lower-carbon main aluminium whereas enhancing its experience in deploying and managing modern applied sciences. The funding aligns with ELYSIS three way partnership’s ongoing efforts to advance and scale up the expertise, positioning Rio Tinto on the forefront of sustainable practices within the aluminium business.


Pierre Fitzgibbon, Québec’s Minister of Economic system, Innovation and Power, together with Minister for Regional Financial Improvement, and Minister for the Metropolis and the Montreal Area, hailed ELYSIS™ as a groundbreaking expertise that guarantees to revolutionize the business. He attributed Québec’s experience as instrumental in reaching the milestone of manufacturing greenhouse gas-free aluminium, making it a world first. Fitzgibbon emphasised the transformative affect of this technological innovation on Québec’s aluminium sector, reinforcing its place as a world chief with unparalleled benefits.


François-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Business, emphasised Canada’s potential to guide as a premier international provider of inexperienced merchandise. He highlighted authorities collaboration with business leaders like Rio Tinto to advance low-carbon aluminium manufacturing. Champagne underscored the importance of pioneering initiatives such because the ELYSIS™ smelting expertise in sustaining Canada’s aggressive edge in tomorrow’s financial system whereas advancing formidable carbon discount targets. By coupling financial good points with a dedication to sustainable innovation, he asserted that these efforts profit Canadian industries, foster progress within the cleantech sector, and help employment alternatives throughout the nation.


Alcoa, a accomplice within the ELYSIS three way partnership, has been granted the choice to obtain a share of the aluminium output from Rio Tinto’s Arvida demonstration plant in the course of the preliminary 4 years underneath an offtake settlement.


In the meantime, the three way partnership is actively advancing its analysis and growth agenda to scale up the ELYSIS™ expertise. Development of bigger prototype cells working at 450 kA has been accomplished at Rio Tinto’s Alma smelter, marking a big milestone. ELYSIS has commenced the commissioning section for these industrial-scale prototype cells, with full operational startup scheduled for 2024.



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