The Canadian smelter Aluminerie Alouette, which is 20-percent owned by Hydro, has been honored with two energy efficiency awards.
The “Énergia” awards were presented on November 13 for the 19th year running by the private non-profit organization AQME (“Association quebecoise pour la maitrise de I'energie”). The awards showcase outstanding initiatives in energy efficiency and energy use in Quebec province. The Alouette aluminium smelter received prizes in both the "Integrated Management" and "Transport" categories.
"We are pleased and proud of these two major distinctions that recognize the excellence of our practices and the invaluable contribution of our employees and partners," said Robert Guilbault, President and CEO of Aluminerie Alouette.
Knut Meel, head of the Part-owned Smelters unit of Hydro’s Aluminium Metal business area, added: “As part-owners we are also very proud of the two awards honoring the Alouette plant in Quebec. The awards are a well-deserved recognition of the important work accomplished by the Alouette organization to reduce the smelter’s energy consumption and climate footprint.”
Series of improvement measures
In the “Integrated Management” category, Alouette was awarded for promoting a series of measures aimed at decreasing the smelter's overall and specific energy consumption.
Through these measures, Alouette is working to increase the efficiency of its manufacturing process as well as its auxiliary equipment use. Other measures include an employee awareness campaign, technical modifications to equipment, resourceful building-heating initiatives, the use of more fuel efficient vehicles and material reuse in the manufacturing process.
In the “Transport” category, Alouette was recognized for implementing an energy efficient maritime transportation system as an alternative to truck transport. Commissioned in June 2005, the barge “Alouette Spirit” provides a transport service between Sept Îles and Trois Rivieres, the Great Lakes, and the U.S. east coast. It enables the Alouette plant to ship a portion of its production while limiting truck transport and greenhouse gas emissions.
Alouette's vision of a "blue highway" stems from joint efforts with regional actors and a desire to optimize existing port facilities in Sept Îles. After three years in operation, the barge has carried over 600,000 tons of aluminum, each year helping to save over five million liters of fuel and more than 7,100 road and rail trips while preventing the emission of over 20,000 tons of greenhouse gases.
Founded in 1992, Aluminerie Alouette is an independent aluminum producer. With over 900 employees and an annual production capacity of over 575,000 tons, it is the number one employer in Sept Îles and the biggest aluminum smelter in North America. The Sept Îles plant is recognized as the world leader for lowest energy consumption per ton of aluminum produced, and for its state-of-the-art facility that largely exceeds the government-set environmental standards.