Kitimat Start-Up in British Columbia

News Kitimat start-up in British Columbia Mars16-FIVES

At the beginning of 2016, all pieces of equipment supplied by Fives to Kitimat have been operational.

In 2012, Rio Tinto launched a project to modernize its smelter located in Kitimat, British Columbia (Canada). The objective was to transform existing smelter, currently operating with Söderberg technology, to pre-baked AP39 in order to increase the aluminium production from 280,000 tpy to 420,000 tpy and to reduce the smelter emissions. The first metal was produced at the beginning of June 2015. 


As part of this project, Rio Tinto awarded several contracts to Fives:

  • a Green Anode Plant from dry mix feeding to cooled green anodes, including the pitch fume treatment system,
  • Three 100t capacity tilting Holding and Melting furnaces equipped with siphon metal transfer systems and dual fuel combustion systems. 

Fives also supplied ECL™ equipment both in the reduction and carbon sectors:

  • Ten Pot Tending Machines, two Tapping and Miscellaneous Assemblies, one Transfer Gantry and four pairs of raising girders, four anode beam raising frames, five metal ladle lifting beams and 384 sets of pot equipment,
  • One Anode Rodding Shop, one Anode Handling Shop, two Furnace Tending Assemblies and two Anode Stacking Cranes. 

Both Green Anode Plant modules and furnace casings were manufactured in the United Arab Emirates and delivered on site in pre-assembled modules. Most of ECL™ pieces of equipment were manufactured in France, prior to shipment to Kitimat. Bechtel was in charge of construction and commissioning under Fives’ supervision. 

All furnaces in the Casthouse have been operational from June, 2015. At the end of 2015, all reduction pieces of equipment were fully commissioned and dedicated to production with a high rate of reliability and availability to ensure the successful ramp-up. In the carbon area, the Green Anode Plant started-up in May 2015, and anodes were produced at the end of June. The ECL™ Anode Rodding Shop also started production in May and the ramp-up is ongoing with the target to reach the full production capacity within the next few months. The anode baking furnace is now fully operational. ECL™ Furnace Tending Assemblies have demonstrated a high level of performance to load and unload the anodes, prior to be transferred to the ECL™ Anode Rodding Shop via the stacking area.