Case Studies

These case studies illustrate how Alcoa is acting upon its commitment to sustainable development throughout the world. We are pleased with this progress, but look forward to achieving even more.

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With the group of eight visitors from Iceland, on the far left, first row, is Éric Bégin.  On the far right, Sylvain Beaumier from the Bécancour Rod Plant.  Mark Rhéaume from the Deschambault Smelter is in the second row, second from the right.   

2008 — Our People

Training at the Bécancour Rod Plant: An example of our commitment to Iceland

By Sylvain Beaumier
Operator, Production
Bécancour Rod Plant

Here at the Bécancour Rod Plant, we had the opportunity to train eight of our colleagues from Iceland on how to operate the Properzi rod machine.
In fact, there were two teams that arrived from Iceland for a few weeks of training.  They came to tap into the cumulative experience of our employees as well as our collective know-how.  Judging from the results overseas, I think we can safely say “mission accomplished”, since we now have a winning team on both sides of the Atlantic.
Our Icelandic colleagues were always eager and full of good will; their commitment was apparent.  The training they received at the Rod Plant enabled them to return to Iceland with even more experience than they had expected at the outset.  The spirit of teamwork that we have nurtured at the plant over the years benefited our colleagues, who got to experience it first-hand.  It is not always easy to manufacture spools of rod.  And when we saw our Icelandic co-workers take control over a difficult situation and restore the machine to full capacity, we had the proof we needed that our training had been effective.
They still have a way to go now that they are back in their homeland but, thanks to all those involved in the project, everyone has come out stronger in the end.  I’m thinking, among others, of the production coordinators who had to tolerate the group from Iceland, Éric Bégin and I working in their office and at their computer, and of the casting wheel operators.
During their stay, our Icelandic friends also had the opportunity to visit our corner of the country through visits to Montreal and Quebec City, among others.  They had nothing but good things to say.  Despite the language barrier, we were able to communicate and advance together in the right direction.
This experience is just one example of the contribution that all the Alcoa Canada Primary Metals facilities have made to the successful start-up of the Fjardaál smelter in Iceland.  In total, our team has dedicated over 100,000 working hours since November 2006 to this incredible adventure.