‘Rescoped’ Clean AER project will still create local work: Vale rep – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – January 17, 2013)

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

Although cut in half, work on a major pollution reduction project in Sudbury is continuing, a Vale official said Wednesday.

Vale announced last week it was scaling back the cost of its Clean AER (Atmospheric Emissions Reduction) project to $1 billion. The company blamed volatile market conditions, operating cost challenges and the commissioning of the Long Harbour project in Newfoundland.

For several years, ore mined in Voisey’s Bay was processed here in Sudbury. A team at Vale has been struck to put together revised plans for Copper Cliff Smelter Complex, which will go down to one furnace from two, and to examine the impact on the company’s workforce, both during the construction phase and after.

Vale spokeswoman Angie Robson said the company doesn’t expect to go to one furnace until 2016. In the meantime, Vale has received the first of four converters and it’s being installed, said Robson. Nickel particulate emissions capture work, which would have been done regardless of whether the smelter has one furnace or two, is also continuing.

Clean AER plans relating to the single furnace are being “rescoped — some of it will be put on hold, some of it will be cancelled altogether,” said Robson.

For instance, the plan to construct a second acid plant will be scrapped because it won’t be needed with only one furnace operating.

Vale had been estimating that, at the peak of construction of the pro-j ect, 1,300 people would be employed. Many of those would have been contractors, a good number of them from out of town.

Because that projected number has been reduced, Vale has withdrawn its application to the City of Greater Sudbury for a zoning amendment to allow it to build temporary accommodation for out-of-town workers.

“Our labour needs, we know, are still going to be significant because it’s still a $1-billion project,” said Robson. “However, we know they’re going to be less. How much less is going to be the subject of the planning work that goes on by the team in the next year.”

Vale has been in contact with the Sudbury Area Mining Supply and Services Association, which represents about 130 businesses in Sudbury.

For the rest of this article, please go to the Sudbury Star website: http://www.thesudburystar.com/2013/01/17/rescoped-clean-aer-project-will-still-create-local-work-vale-rep