SAGUENAY, Que. – The federal and Quebec governments are teaming up with a trio of corporate giants from the metals and tech industries to commercialize the world’s first carbon-free aluminum smelting process.
Ottawa, Quebec and Apple Inc. are investing in a joint venture between Alcoa Inc. and Rio Tinto Group called Elysis, which will commercialize a process that eliminates greenhouse gas emissions from traditional smelting by instead producing oxygen.
Elysis, which expects large-scale deployment of the technology by 2024, will be given a total of $188 million from Alcoa, Rio Tinto, Ottawa, the Quebec government and Apple to develop and license the technology so it can be used to retrofit smelters or build new facilities.
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The federal and Quebec governments are contributing $60 million each, with the Quebec government getting a 3.5 per cent stake in the venture and Alcoa and Rio Tinto splitting the remaining ownership equally.
Alcoa and Rio Tinto will invest $55 million in the project.
Apple, which put forth $13 million, helped facilitate the collaboration between Alcoa and Rio Tinto and has vowed to provide technical support as the project progresses.
Elysis will have a headquarters in Montreal and a research facility in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Que. region.