Elysis, the Alcoa-Rio Tinto joint venture for zero-carbon aluminum, has begun construction of its inert anode cells plant at the Alma smelter in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Quebec.
The company announced its plans in April to utilize Rio’s Alma smelter for testing the inert cells technology prototype. The plant will use 450kA of electricity, which is considered industrial grade for large-scale aluminum smelters today. Elysis has not disclosed the volumes it plans to target in 2024 when it will start commercial production of the material.
The Canadian government has contributed $20mn for further development of this technology. Meanwhile, competitor UC Rusal has already begun shipping batches of its test product. A green premium over the regional premiums for metal delivery is imminent with more companies getting involved in zero-carbon footprint primary aluminum production.