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Electrical energy consumption
Fossil fuel consumption
Total Energy consumption (UTB)
Alcoa Canada Primary Products wins a CIPEC Leadership Award
More detailed notes accompany graphs, at right.
From its earliest days, Alcoa has focused on continuously improving its energy efficiency. In 1900, it took more than 55 kilowatt hours (kWh) to make a kilogram of aluminum from alumina. Today, our best performing plants can produce the same quantity of primary aluminum using only 13.3 kWh.
Our smelting operations consume large volumes of electric power. As we pursue the modernization of our smelters, our power requirements will decrease. Our new smelters are up to 20% more efficient than our older facilities. The modernization of the Baie-Comeau Smelter, scheduled for completion in 2015, will result in substantial gains.
In 2010, Alcoa helped create the NSERC/Alcoa Industrial research chair on modelling of electrolytic cells and energy efficiency (MACE3) at Laval University to support research into improving process performance.
In Québec, an Energy Efficiency Committee has been set up at each smelter. They are supported by a regional committee that includes representatives from each plant and which promotes the exchange of best practices, from simple changes in work processes to major technological innovation. The work of these committees focuses on both electrical energy and fuel consumption.
Alcoa Canada Global Primary Products has also adopted an energy efficiency policy. The Bécancour and Deschambault smelters have both been members of the Hydro-Québec Écolectrique network since 2008, a group recognizing Québec’s leading corporations in energy efficiency. In 2010, the Bécancour Smelter became the first company to achieve Elite membership in this network, thanks to its cumulative energy efficiency gains of more than 250 gigawatt hours (GWh). The Deschambault Smelter joined its sister facility as an Elite member in 2011, and the Baie-Comeau Smelter became a member of the Écolectrique network that same year. All of Alcoa’s smelters in Québec are now part of this network.