McGuinty touts Clean AER project: $2-billion initiative promises to reduce smelter emissions by 70% – by Rita Poliakov (Sudbury Star – June 23, 2012)

 The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

The significance of Vale’s Clean AER project goes beyond the City of Greater Sudbury. “It’s good for the North, good for the province and good for the lungs of our children and grandchildren,” said Premier Dalton McGuinty, at the $2-billion project’s groundbreaking on Friday.

McGuinty was joined by several cabinet ministers and Vale executives at the ceremony, which marked the beginning of construction. The Clean AER (atmospheric emissions reduction) project, called the largest single environmental investment in Sudbury’s history, will reduce sulphur dioxide emissions at Vale’s Copper Cliff smelter by 70%.

The project’s goal is to bring emissions down to 45 kilotonnes per year, well below the province’s regulatory limit of 66 kilotonnes per year. During construction, which should last until 2015, the smelter complex will be retrofitted and new secondary baghouse and material handling facilities, which prevents dust from entering the community, will be constructed.

The most complicated area of the project will stem from the smelter itself, which will continue to operate during construction. “It’s very complicated,” said Dave Stefanuto, the project director. “We’ll be replacing four converters.”

While one converter is being replaced, others will be used, until all four are complete.

Still, Stefanuto understands the initiative’s importance.

“It’s going to have a whole bunch of benefits. The most obvious is reducing the (amount) of sulphur dioxide emissions,” he said.

The project will also affect the community. During the peak of construction, around 1,300 additional workers will be needed.

For Sudbury MPP Rick Bartolucci, this initiative means a cleaner environment.

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