Under a $1.2 billion modernization project, all of the smelter’s electrolytic pots will be upgraded by 2019 to improve their productivity and environmental performance. Annual production will increase to 547,000 mt/year.
At the time the project was announced, the Baie-Comeau Smelter was operating three Söderberg potlines, built respectively in 1957, 1959 and 1970 (the south plant), and two prebake potlines, built in 1984 and 1990 (the north plant).
This modernization will see all Söderberg pots replaced with a new prebake potline that uses a technology developed by the Baie-Comeau Smelter, known as BC 240. Replacing the Söderberg pots will enable the plant to meet and even exceed the new environmental standards that will come into effect in 2015. This project also entails the conversion of all prebake pots in the north plant to this technology, which allows the use of higher amperage.