an aerial view of the early stages of Rio Tinto Alcan's Kitimat Modernization Project.

Rio Tinto Alcan getting modern in Kitimat

Kitimat is enjoying an economic boom and leading the increase in activity is the modernization of the Rio Tinto Alcan aluminum plant.

Kitimat is enjoying an economic boom unlike anything in the past three decades and leading the increase in activity is the modernization of the Rio Tinto Alcan aluminum plant.

The $3.5 billion Kitimat Modernization Project (KMP) was announced in December 2011 and, since that time, the number of workers and companies setting up in town has only risen. At the end of February, there were 2,400 workers involved in the project with 1,300 of the 1,760 beds in the KMP camp filled and single-digit vacancy rates being experienced throughout town.

But those 2,400 workers are just the tip of the iceberg. KMP general manager Gaby Poirier expects the number of workers to peak in June when the camp and a 500-bed cruise ship, brought in to house workers, are both expected to be at capacity.

The project itself will increase the production of the nearly 60-year-old plant by 48 per cent to approximately 420,000 tonnes while utilizing more cost-effective, energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly technology than what is currently on site. The project itself is more than 65 per cent complete with construction of the new lines and plant components 40 per cent complete. 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 per cent.

Poirier said the company is anticipating the commissioning of the plant and the first pour of aluminum will take place in the first quarter of 2015. Once the modernization is complete, the number of employees at the Kitimat plant will drop from 1,200 to 1,000, with the company planning to use natural attrition to make up most of the reduction in workers.

For more information on the project, visit

Just Posted

Pedestrian hit by cab in crosswalk on Second Avenue

A woman was in the crosswalk in Prince Rupert when she was struck by a taxi on Jan. 17

Nearly $500,000 available for internships with First Nations government

Funds announced through partnership with Northern Development and Government of Canada

Subsea internet cable to link up Prince Rupert

Cable to connect Haida Gwaii, Prince Rupert, Vancouver Island, Sunshine Coast with mainland network

13 per cent increase in Indigenous high school completion

School District 52 saw a steady increase in high school graduates for the 2016/2017 school year

Fees levied for superyachts calling on Cow Bay

The Port of Prince Rupert looks to make pedestrian access easier with the city to charge superyachts

Solitary-confinement veto a chance to address mental health: advocate

B.C. Supreme Court made the landmark ruling Wednesday

Carriers wanted for the Northern View

We have open routes for carriers all over Prince Rupert

Winter storm coming to B.C. this weekend

The bets are on as to how much snow the province will actually get in the coming days

B.C. civil rights group files complaint about RCMP arrest of man who later died

Dale Culver, a 35-year-old Indigenous man was arrested in Prince George last July

Lawyer says former B.C. government aide ‘barely guilty’ in ethnic vote scandal

Brian Bonney pleaded guilty to a breach of trust charge

Quite a few tears as homemade quilts distributed to residents of Ashcroft Reserve, Boston Flats affected by last summer’s fire

Quilters in B.C. and Alberta worked through the summer and fall to create more than 100 quilts.

Island Health: No need for alarm in wake of Victoria needle-prick incidents

Three incidents in a week prompts meeting between health authority, city service providers

B.C. coast loggers celebrate history, hope for improvement

Truck Loggers Association awaits B.C. NDP government’s new direction

Global Affairs aware of report of two Canadians kidnapped in Nigeria

The foreigners were heading south from Kafanchan to Abuja when they were ambushed around Kagarko

Most Read