The federal and Quebec governments have joined Alcoa Inc., Rio Tinto Group and Apple to bring a newly developed carbon-free aluminum smelting process to market.
The new process eliminates greenhouse gas emissions from traditional smelting processes, producing oxygen instead. The two companies say it’s the aluminum industry’s most important advance in a century.
Between them, Ottawa, Quebec and Apple are investing in Elysis, a joint venture between Alcoa and Rio Tinto that will commercialize the new smelting process. Ottawa and Quebec are investing $60 M each, with Quebec taking a 3.5 per cent ownership stake. Elysis HQ will be in Montreal, with a research facility in Saguenay-Lac. St. Jean.
“We no longer have a choice,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told a news conference in Saguenay, about 200 kilometres north of Quebec City. “We need to create durable, economic development while protecting the environment, and today’s announcement is a magnificent example of this.”
The new process is expected to be in large-scale deployment by 2024, with a total investment of $188 million from all five partners.
Rio Tinto says Elysis can potentially reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by about 6.5 M metric tonnes in Canada. The two companies say the process could create more than 1000 jobs by 2030, “while securing 10,500 existing aluminum jobs in Canada.”
View a webcast of the announcement here.
Source: Canadian Press