Alcoa has focused on energy efficiency from the beginning. In 1990, the production of one kilogram of aluminum from alumina required over 55 kilowatt hours (kWh). Today, Alcoa’s best smelters produce the same volume with only 13 kWh.
Alcoa’s strategic goal is to decrease the total energy intensity of its smelting group by 10% in 2020, compared to 2005.
Each smelter has an energy efficiency committee and there is a regional committee, which brings together representatives from each smelter and promotes the exchange of best practices. These range from minor changes in work processes to technological innovation. The committees focus on the consumption of electricity and fuel. In Canada, Alcoa Global Primary Products has also adopted a policy governing the optimal use of energy.
With combined gains of nearly one terawatt hour over the years, our three smelters are Distinction level members of Hydro-Québec’s Energy Savers’ Circle, which brings together energy efficiency leaders.
Nonetheless, Alcoa set an additional 1% reduction target for its total energy consumption in 2015, excluding potrooms.