Rio Tinto will invest an additional $2.7 billion to modernize its aluminum smelter in Kitimat, British Columbia. The new investment will allow for completion of the $3.3 billion project in 2014. The Kitimat modernization project will increase the smelter’s current production capacity by more than 48% to approximately 420,000 metric tons per year. First metal is expected to come on-stream in the first half of 2014, with an expected ramp-up of nine months.          

The modernized smelter will be powered exclusively by wholly owned hydropower and use Rio Tinto Alcan’s proprietary AP40 smelting technology to reduce the smelter’s carbon dioxide emissions intensity by approximately 50%. The project will secure approximately 1,000 stable, specialized jobs in British Columbia’s northwest for the long term and 2,500 jobs during the peak period of the construction phase.