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REPORTING · 7th November 2012
Walter McFarlane
recent article from business week, found by clicking here, has heads turning in Kitimat. The article states Rio Tinto will be cutting jobs and delaying decisions on projects.

What does this mean for Kitimat?

Colleen Nyce, Communication & External Relations Manager told use: “In coordination with many other Rio Tinto sites, Rio Tinto Alcan will begin slowing the pace of the Kitimat Modernization Project through winter months in response to the continued volatility of the economy. The current global economic environment is very challenging and as a responsible company, we are actively pursuing all avenues to ensure we will remain in a strong financial position in the future.”

Nyce explains the project is still projecting an expenditure of just over $1 billion for 2013. The overall effect is the construction schedule will be lengthened as construction slows down for the winter months. This could be considered a good thing as winter is traditionally a slower time.

“This adjustment to the Kitimat Modernization Project pace has been optimally timed,” said Nyce.

She explained contracts will continue to be awarded but at a slower pace, selective winter work will be staged in such a way that contractors will have an optimal work sequence, no contracts will be cancelled and with this new construction schedule, first metal will likely be delayed by a number of months

“Rio Tinto Alcan remains committed to the Kitimat Modernization Project and will pace the construction in line with economic conditions,” said Nyce

We were told these decisions will not have any further effect on the Aluminum Smelter in Kitimat other than delaying the project. “Everything stays the same,” concluded Nyce.