The Rio Tinto Fund for the Aluminium Valley Society supports the development of aluminium-related projects and is an important springboard for several companies. Last year, a broad range of projects were funded, and many companies were supported, highlighting that aluminium is an important metal whose immense potential should be further harnessed.
Vincent Garbugli, Project Manager at the Aluminium Valley Society (AVS), explained that AVS’ role is mainly to support companies in bringing their aluminium-related projects to life. The mission of AVS is to support the specific needs of entrepreneurs by providing technical advice and/or financial support via AVS’ Rio Tinto fund.
“When I started my mandate, I had no idea of the potential range of projects that I was going to analyse,” Garbugli said. “Sometimes we support projects financially, other times we mainly give advice. We really get involved with everything.”
When asked about Rio Tinto’s role at AVS, Luc Cyrenne, Director of Regional Economic Development, stressed that it is much more than a simple collaboration aimed at giving out funds.
The AVS team is probably the one we work with the most in the region,” Cyrenne said. “Yes, we are connected through the Rio Tinto Fund, which is a driving force for AVS, but above all we are committed to the same mission: to increase awareness and recognition of aluminium to increase its use in secondary and tertiary processing.”
Last year, the Rio Tinto Fund for the Aluminium Valley Society supported over 30 companies, including Stobia to produce aluminium containers, Remac to build aluminium telecommunication towers, and Aquafjord to develop a water can production line. A total of $425,000 in funding was awarded to a wide range of innovative projects.
“Aluminium is a fantastic metal with many physical properties that are superior to those of steel in every way,” added Cyrenne. “The total cost of using this light metal is also lower due to its longer life and the fact that it does not rust over time. It is also infinitely recyclable and is a leading solution to help improve the environment of our planet.”