KITIMAT, BC, Oct. 21, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ - The Premier of British Colombia John Horgan joined celebrations for the first year of full production at Rio Tinto's BC Works aluminum smelter in Kitimat today, following a $6 billion modernisation project.
Rio Tinto Aluminium chief executive Alf Barrios said "We are celebrating a strong future for our business in British Columbia, with a state-of-the-art smelter proudly producing some of the world's lowest carbon aluminum.
"The original Kitimat smelter was the largest private sector investment in British Columbia when it was built in the 1950s and played a key role in opening up the north of the province to economic prosperity.
"Now, more than 65 years later, Rio Tinto is proud to have again made the largest private sector investment in British Columbia's history here at Kitimat.
"This investment ensures BC Works will continue to make a significant contribution to the economic prosperity of the province, providing work for nearly 1000 employees.
"The combination of clean hydropower with the leading edge technology in the new smelter allows us to produce aluminum with one of the lowest carbon footprints in the world right here in Kitimat.
"We have increased the smelter's production capacity by close to 50 per cent, at the same time as improving environmental performance by halving overall emissions."
A highlight of the celebration was the blessing of a hand carved totem pole by Hereditary Hailsa Nation Chief Sammy Robinson. The totem pole will stand at BC Works facing the ocean to mark a new era in the long lasting partnership with the Haisla people.
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For further information: Claudine Gagnon, Manager, Media relations and Communications, Rio Tinto Canada, M.: +1 514 377 4914, email@example.com; Katherine Voigt, Communications Coordinator - BC Operations, Rio Tinto Aluminium, BC works, T.: +1 250 639 8241, firstname.lastname@example.org