Bechtel's modernization of Rio Tinto Alcan’s 60-year-old Kitimat aluminum smelter in British Columbia created an environmentally superior, safer, and more productive facility, and elevated the operation to world-class status.
The modernization employed the latest evolution in Rio Tinto Alcan’s state-of-the-art APTM technology and boosted production to over 400,000 metric tons per year. The project simultaneously reduced the smelter's overall emissions by nearly 50 percent, including some 500,000 metric tons per year of greenhouse gases.
The project also included a 287,000-watt (287-kilovolt) switching substation. Aluminum smelters require massive amounts of electricity, and Kitimat’s is generated cleanly by its own hydroelectric power system in nearby Kemano (tunnels for which were also built by Bechtel).