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AP60 Phase 1 is a new aluminium plant located in Jonquiere, Quebec (464 km northeast of Montreal). The plant was designed to test RTA’s proprietary AP60 smelting technology at an industrial scale. The project is the first-of-its-kind in the world and the first step in RTA’s planned investment program in Quebec’s Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region.

RTA’s goal was clear from the start - to safely deliver an industrial plant to demonstrate AP60 technology with minimal capital expenditure and a realistic schedule. The CAN$1.3 billion project was completed within the budget and one month ahead of schedule. It also set a world-class standard for HSE that was implemented as the benchmark by RTA and the construction industry in Quebec, which had suffered from extremely high-lost time injury frequency rates (LTIFR). The project finished with an injury rate 99% lower than the local average.

“Building an aluminium plant to operate the most advanced technology in the world was an enormous, and exciting, challenge,” said Hatch’s André Noël, AP60 Project Manager. “In the midst of the global financial crisis, the team was challenged with the task of reducing the project costs to an acceptable level without impacting net present value. An exhaustive value-improvement exercise resulted in savings of about $280 million in capital expenditure without compromising operating costs.”

“We set a new standard for health and safety performance in the Quebec construction industry with the AP60 project,” said Marc O’Connor, Vice-President Projects, North America, Mining and Metallurgy, SNC-Lavalin. “Many of the health and safety programmes, procedures and tools developed as part of this project, are the precursors to tools being used on projects today.”

“Project management—it’s all about how good you are at detailing a plan, presenting a plan, executing the plan, and delivering the result. And that’s what they did so well. They were the best,” said Michel Charron, Project Director, Rio Tinto Alcan.

The project was executed under an engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) contracting model, which was led by a joint venture between SNC-Lavalin and Hatch.

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