Massive project extended to 2016: Vale – by Harold Carmichael (Sudbury Star – October 13, 2012)

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

Vale’s $2-billion environmental project in Copper Cliff remains a go, but its completion date is being extended into 2016, the company said Friday.

“To mitigate risks associated with the (Clean Atmospheric Emissions Reduction) project, we now intend to take some additional time to complete the project, both to better position ourselves for success and to address short-term cash-flow constraints in light of current market conditions,” Vale spokeswoman Angie Robson said Friday.

“The end result of this approach is a change in schedule for some of the gas capture components of the project to align with our scheduled planned maintenance period in September, 2015.

“The (planned maintenance period) is the available window to complete the final tie-in work, so that all of the new systems will be ready for start-up and commissioning once the September 2015 (planned maintenance period) ends. The end result will mean the project will be completed in 2016 instead of the end of 2015.”

The massive project will modernize Vale’s Copper Cliff smelting complex and result in a significant reduction in sulphur-dioxide emissions.

When finished, the reduction in sulphur dioxide emissions will put Vale well below government regulated emission limits by 2015, to 45 kilotonnes, as opposed to the regulatory limit of 66 kilotonnes per year. This reduction is in addition to the 90% reduction in sulphur dioxide emissions Vale has incorporated since 1970.

There have been rumours the company might kill or delay the project as it deals with lower nickel prices and demand. That’s not the case, Robson said.

“Vale remains committed to the Clean AER project to achieve the emissions reduction targets we have set for ourselves,” she said. “The first of four converters has already been delivered and work on the project continues.”

In addition to the environmental benefits, Clean AER has been hailed as a major boost to Sudbury’s economy. Vale estimates the retrofit will require about 8-million person-hours of additional labour, with 1,300 workers on-site during peak construction.

For the original version of this article, please go to the Sudbury Star website: