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NEWS RELEASE · 30th November 2011
Opinion 250
It could be the news that Kitimat has been waiting on for some time. Rio Tinto Alcan has scheduled a “major announcement” about the company’s multi-billion dollar growth plans Thursday. RTA Chief Executive Jacynthe Cote will be joined by Premier Christy Clark, First Nations leaders, and other Rio Tinto Alcan senior executives at the aluminum smelter site.

While RTA has not provided details, it says the announcement will be a significant event for Kitimat, the northwest region of the province, and all of British Columbia fuelling speculation that the company has given the green light to proceed with the entire $2.5 billion smelter modernization. The KMP has been in the works for years, but was put on hold with the global economic meltdown.

Things have been ramping since the company announced $300 million last year for construction of the KMP construction village and the demolition of part of the existing smelter to make way for the new operation’s footprint.

However, the company board has yet to sign off on funding of the entire modernization project as yet. The company’s announcement is scheduled for 12:30 tomorrow.
well Gerry
Comment by Bryan N on 2nd December 2011
I understand your thinking, but if you were spending +/- 3 billion dollars wouldn't you want increased productivity? Of course RTA is going to want less employees and more metal. That is just logical. And, the other alternative is simply to close the existing plant in a few years and have no jobs.
Comment by Brenda Mitchell on 1st December 2011
Such great news.Such a shame that along with this news comes such negativity.Thanks RTA-best news our community has had in a long time.Jim-I totally agree with everything you said and I know that most of Kitimat is looking at this announcement as a positive not a negative.Thanks again RTA.
Carrot and stick
Comment by Randy Halyk on 1st December 2011
The press release said the modernization would create hundreds of jobs. We all know that's a lie. The smelter will be smaller and require fewer jobs not more unless that has changed in the last day or so.
It is so frustrating to hear the spin just to bolster Premier Clarks jobs initiative, why not be honest tell the truth!
I am also very happy that finally after many many empty promises RTA will finally do the repairs needed to keep this smelter going. Although I am not naive enough to think that the millions spent over the last few years was anything but enough to maintain this ageing smelter.
As for Kitimat being on the map just check out the governments Gateway web site. You won’t see Kitimat listed any ware. We are a non entity and always will be until we become a public port, as it stands now RTA controls our water access and is not willing to give it up.
We need to be recognized as a public port in order to grow and prosper beyond what RTA dictates, it is unacceptable. Where else in Canada does a Corporation own the water and foreshore rights to the exclusion of Canadian Citizens?
I can understand the frustration many people in Kitimat feel after enduring years of empty promises accompanied by false statements threatening conditions to meet then reneging again and again.
What else could you expect but Sinicism and mistrust?
I for one would like to go forward with renewed trust and look positively toward the future and the best way to do that is for RTA to complete this project, stop making promises they can’t keep and try to regain the trust of those they have disenfranchised over the years.
Alcan now RTA has provided jobs and opportunities to everyone throughout BC. I look forward to many more years of good paying jobs and less pollution.
thank you
Comment by Keven Fifi on 1st December 2011
I for one am thankful that this is finally happening. I am also thankful that the majority is finally speaking out. Too Long have we had Negative minority speaking as though they speak for all of us. Make a new smelter? GOOD. Beats the alternative. And Yes I do work for Rio TInto
alright Mr. Hummel
Comment by Gambini on 1st December 2011
first of all do you work at this plant? do you have to breath the pollution into your lungs, have you ever seen equiptment and buildings falling apart our machinery we use on a daily basis break, leak, out for weeks garage employees working to get these machines back to us, cranes de- railing off thier runways, or even pieces of rail falling from inside, around employees, if you you did you would actually be happy about this announcement like me and other peer co-workers its not that these items have not been adressed they have and for the last couple years now it as just been getting worse, the time has come for this 57 year old smelter, so risk 500 jobs or not safety of people will come first
Comment by Jim on 1st December 2011
Gerry its easy for you and your supporters most
who are retired and don't need jobs, to comment with all the negativity towards major projects that could really move Kitimat forward to major economic success on a world level. These are major multi billion dollar projects that are going to be recognized worldwide and finally put Kitimat on the map for other major company's to see that normally don't even know that Kitimat exists .
In my view we should be thanking these company's for their investments not continually criticizing them.
better than
Comment by Darcy Metz on 1st December 2011
Still better than the alternative of a permanently shut down ancient smelter, total jobs = 0.
Thank you note!
Comment by Gerry Hummel on 30th November 2011
Thank you Rio Tinto Alcan and Crusty Clark for eliminating 500 jobs at the smelter! Now what else can we do for you Rio Tinto Alcan ..... more power sales so Enbridge can run their pipeline???