AP60 Smelter

Rio Tinto Alcan | Canada | 2007–2013

more aluminum produced per cell

C$288 million
of capital cost savings

60,000 tpa
of aluminum

PMI International
Project of the Year Award 2014



  • This greenfield plant wanted to demonstrate new proprietary AP60-smelting technology at an industrial scale.
  • The smelter was to produce 40% more aluminum per cell than the previous generation of AP technology.
  • In the Phase 1 pilot, 38 pots were expected to produce approximately 60,000 tonnes of aluminum per annum.
  • Extensive scope and cost optimization was required to increase savings.


  • We provided project management, lean engineering, procurement, construction management, pre-commissioning, and commissioning services.
  • Project team was highly integrated with the Rio Tinto organization, aligned to objectives and committed to delivery.
  • Amid a global financial crisis, we minimized project costs without impacting net present value.
  • An exhaustive value-improvement exercise saved about $288 million in capital expenditures without compromising performance.


  • Recognized by the Project Management Institute with the International Project of the Year Award in 2014, and the Project of the Year Award—Montréal  in 2013
  • Received Award of Excellence in Steel Construction 2013, Canadian Institute of Steel Construction
  • Received commendation for exceptional leadership in health, safety, and environment
  • Project was completed within budget, a month ahead of schedule, and set a new industry standard for safety, with a lost-time injuries rate of 0.27 for 5 million hours (99% better than typical Québec construction industry performance).

“Project management—it’s all about how good you are at detailing a plan, presenting a plan, executing the plan, and delivering the result. And that’s what the team did so well. They were the best.”

Michel Charron | Project Director, Rio Tinto Alcan

Project numbers

C$3.6 billion phases 1, 2 & 3 estimated total cost
23 months construction period from notice to proceed
0.27 LTI's for 5 million hours 
38 pots
1 month ahead of schedule within budget
C$1.3 billion investment delivered on budget

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