Growth and Economic Impact


We are proud of the economic value we generate for our customers, shareowners, employees and the communities which host our operations. Our capital projects, purchases of goods and services, taxes and income taxes, wages and various community investments benefit our stakeholders.

Alcoa Reaches Power Agreement to Improve Competitiveness of Québec Smelters, Secure 3,000 Jobs



Alcoa and Phinergy Debut Electric Car with Aluminum-Air Battery at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve



Alcoa Sells Bécancour Rod Mill to Sural



An economic force for communities

In 2013, Alcoa Canada Global Primary Products facilities generated revenues of $2.2 billion in Québec and economic benefits of about $1.5 billion. These numbers represent only direct economic benefits, namely the salaries we pay our more than 2,500 employees, the taxes and income taxes paid to the province of Québec, and purchases we made from our suppliers, most of whom are local.


A difficult period, with better times ahead

The aluminum industry was hard hit by the 2008-2009 economic crisis, and it has not yet fully recovered. Market conditions have forced Alcoa to reduce its global aluminum production by 460,000 mt/year. In May 2013, we announced that the Baie-Comeau Smelter’s Söderberg plant would be shut down in the Fall of that same year, one year earlier than planned. Although it happened sooner than expected, job elimination in the Söderberg plant was already planned, announced and essentially achieved through attrition.


In 2013, the most important issue for Alcoa Canada Global Primary Products, and for all of the communities where it operates, was the fear that its Québec smelters would have to cease operations as a result of a significant potential increase in electricity rates. Happily and to everyone’s satisfaction a long-term supply agreement was reached on February 25, 2014.


This allowed us to announce new investments of $30 million for upgrading the casthouse at the Baie-Comeau Smelter to support the rapidly growing automotive manufacturing industry. This is in addition to the $75 million already invested in the renovation of the port facilities to meet the smelter’s current and future needs. The smelter is also very well positioned to eventually supply aluminum for the Phinergy | Alcoa aluminum/air electric car battery, currently under development.


Thanks to technological innovation at the Smelting Center of Excellence, the operating amperage at the Deschambault Smelter will increase to 405,000 amperes by 2016, thereby increasing its production capacity by 25,000 mt/yr. Investments are also in line for the Bécancour Smelter, which continues to supply molten metal to the Bécancour Rod Plant, sold in 2014 to Sural Laminated Products of Canada.


With the long-term energy supply agreements now signed and the latest investments that have been made or announced, Alcoa Canada Global Primary Products and its host communities can confidently look to the future.


Economic spinoffs of Alcoa Canada Global Primary Products plants in Québec, in 2013*





Direct spinoffs, in salaries, purchases, taxes and income taxes





* As at December 31, 2014

** The Bécancour Smelter Inc. (ABI) is 74.95% owned by Alcoa and 25.05% by Rio Tinto Alcan.