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News & Press: Member News

Elysis-the JV between Alcoa and Rio Tinto-is constructing R&D facility in Quebec

Tuesday, April 23, 2019  
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ELYSIS, the joint venture between Alcoa and Rio Tinto, has announced it will build a new research and development facility in the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region in Québec, which was chosen because of the region's notable expertise  in the aluminum sector and financial backing from both the Quebec and Canadian governments.

The joint venture is working to commercialize a breakthrough technology that eliminates all direct greenhouse gases (GHGs) from the traditional aluminum smelting process, instead producing pure oxygen. The ELYSIS (TM) process has the potential to reduce the environmental footprint of the aluminum industry on a global scale.

“With the development of this research [center], we can proudly root our company in Québec, and in Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean in particular. Our team is enthusiastic about working collaboratively to refine our technology so we can help bring the [aluminum] industry to new levels and make it even more sustainable,” said Vincent Christ, Chief Executive Officer, ELYSIS.

The new process will reduce operating costs of aluminum smelters while increasing production capacity and could be used in both new and existing aluminum smelters.

The new ELYSIS Research and Development Center will be located at Rio Tinto’s Complexe Jonquière, the site of the Arvida smelter, Vaudreuil refinery and Arvida Research and Development Centre. It is expected to be fully operational in the second half of 2020.