Canadian technology company, ELYSIS has announced the site for its new research and development facility in the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region of Québec.
The ELYSIS joint venture, by Rio Tinto and Alcoa Corporation, is working to commercialise a breakthrough technology that eliminates all direct greenhouse gases (GHG) from the traditional aluminium smelting process, instead producing pure oxygen.
In Canada alone, the technology has the potential to reduce GHG emissions by 7 million tonnes, which is equivalent to removing 1.8 million cars off the road.
The company believes this technology could reduce the environmental footprint of the aluminium industry on a global scale.
The new Research and Development Centre will be located at Rio Tinto’s Complexe Jonquière, the site of the Arvida smelter, Vaudreuil refinery and Arvida Research and Development Centre.
Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean was selected for the centre’s location because of the region’s expertise in the aluminium sector and financial backing from both the Quebec and Canadian governments.
Quebec Minister of Economy and Innovation, Pierre Fitzgibbon said the technology is undoubtedly one of the most important innovations within the aluminium industry and a major step forward in tackling climate change.
“We are proud to contribute to the realisation of this initiative that will draw on the exceptional expertise of this Quebec industry, one in which a large number of companies are based in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region. We are delighted to welcome the establishment of this research and development centre in Saguenay which is an important step toward a commercial-scale demonstration of this revolutionary technology,” he announced.
The new centre is expected to be fully operational in the second half of 2020 and will employ more than 25 experts.