A New Billet Casting Centre at Alma Thanks to a $240M Investment

Today, Rio Tinto is reaffirming its position as a leader in low-carbon aluminium production by announcing the addition of a new aluminium billet casting centre to its Alma smelter. This project will add 202,000 metric tonnes to its annual billet production.

This major investment, which was announced at a press conference this morning, will allow Rio Tinto to be more agile and flexible in order to respond to demand from North American extruders for various high value-added products, mainly in the automotive and construction industries. A portion of standard product production at the Alma Works casting centre will be converted to produce aluminium billets with a low carbon footprint. This aluminium will therefore be transformed into higher value-added products.

“We are proud to work in concert with our employees, Quebec equipment manufacturers, and our partners to make this much-anticipated project a reality,” said Patrice Bergeron, Operations Director at Alma Works. “It will enable us to meet our customers’ needs for decades to come.”

Major benefits for the region

The economic benefits of this project are estimated at nearly $200 million in Quebec, including over $65 million in the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region. The project will create approximately 40 new permanent jobs at Alma Works and help support existing jobs.

The casting centre at Alma Works will be expanded to accommodate the new equipment, including a casting pit and furnaces. Construction work will begin in May 2023, and commissioning is slated for the first quarter of 2025.

“The region will continue to be a leader in North America’s responsible aluminium industry and to respond to growing demand from customers for low-carbon aluminium,” concluded Sébastien Ross, Managing Director, Atlantic Operations.