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REPORTING · 5th August 2010
Merv Ritchie
Rio Tinto Alcan has announced they will begin the modernization of the smelter at Kitimat beginning tonight.

It has been reported to us the employees were told this morning how two pot lines, number 7 and 8, were going to be shut down at 6 pm tonight to begin the modernization.

The Dow Jones News Wire service reports the following;

Rio Tinto PLC (RTP) said Thursday that it is closing two pot lines representing 67,000 metric tons of capacity at its Kitimat, British Columbia, aluminum smelter as part of a modernization plan that will see output expand by 40% to 400,000 tons a year.

"The modernisation of our Kitimat smelter remains a strategic priority for Rio Tinto Alcan," Jacynthe Cote, chief executive of Rio Tinto Alcan, said in a Rio Tinto statement.

The modernization "will transform our smelter into a top tier, low-cost, large-scale, and low-carbon asset," Cote added.

The dismantlement of the two pot lines will make room for two new buildings, the company said.