The Quebec state government assured the company of enough electric power to boost annual production capacity to 930kt/y from its current 575kt/y.

Hydro-Québec will provide the 19-year-old smelter with an additional block of up to 500MW for Phase III.

Alouette is already North America’s largest smelter; Phase III would make it one of the world’s 10 largest and most modern smelters.

The expansion project would have a major economic impact for the all of Québec. The construction phase would contribute to supporting of 15000 jobs-year in Quebec during the duration of the work, while the development phase would create close to an additional 1,500 direct and indirect jobs in the province as a result of additional annual spending related to plant operations.

Alouette’s Phase III project includes the updating of equipment and research and development to develop a new low energy consumption technology. The addition of a third series of electrolysis cells by itself represents a $1.5bn investment.

Once it is completed 300 direct jobs would be added to the smelter workforce and Alouette will employ close to 1,300 people. The third series of electrolysis cells will be confirmed after the engineering studies, which are not yet completed and shareholders approvals are obtained.