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Electrical energy consumption
Fossil fuel consumption
Alcoa Canada Primary Products wins a CIPEC Leadership Award
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 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.
With combined energy efficiencies of nearly 1 terawatt-hour, our three smelters are Distinction members of Hydro-Québec’s Energy Saver’s Circle, which brings together energy efficiency leaders.
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
Due to the less efficient Söderberg technology used in part at our Baie-Comeau Smelter, its energy consumption was historically higher than at our other smelters. The closure of the Söderberg Plant should allow a realignment of the smelter’s consumption. In 2013, overall electricity consumption in our smelters (power to pot) was slightly lower (48.84 GJ/t Al compared to 49.27 GJ/t Al in 2012).
At the Bécancour Smelter, fossil fuel consumption decreased from 2.66 to 2.58 GJ/t Al, mainly as a result of the installation of new automated burner ramps for the anode baking furnace, leading to lower use of natural gas. Due to higher production of baked anodes, needed to allow for the upgrading of the baking furnace, scheduled for 2014, the Deschambault Smelter used higher volumes of natural gas, which accounts for the small increase recorded for our combined operations (2.30 GJ/t Al compared to 2.29 GJ/t Al in 2012).