Hydropower, Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Canada

Producing More, Emitting Less

Combined with the expertise of our highly trained, multigenerational workforce and access to renewable hydropower, we’re poised to deliver the lowest-carbon aluminium possible. And we’re just getting started.

Last updated: 26 July 2023


Rio Tinto is re-imagining aluminium production.

Leveraging the proprietary AP60 low-carbon smelting technology developed by our Research and Development teams, our newly expanded facility at Complexe Jonquière in Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean will produce approximately 220,000 metric tonnes of primary, low-carbon aluminium per year — enough aluminium to manufacture 400,000 electric vehicles.

This new smelting process, when coupled with renewable hydropower, will generate seven times less greenhouse gases per tonne of aluminium when compared with the industry average.

Within our global production of RenewAl™, we include our Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean operations, which contribute to the industry's ground-breaking low-carbon aluminium. Our certified low-carbon aluminium boasts a carbon footprint of 4tCO2/tAl or below, setting new standards for sustainability.

Our START Platform, launched in 2021, has set a new standard in transparency and traceability for the aluminium industry. Powered by blockchain technology, START provides our customers and end users visibility into how their aluminium was produced. The START digital sustainability label – similar to a nutrition label found on food and drink packaging – provides key information about how the aluminium was produced, from mine to market. It covers 10 criteria: carbon footprint, water use, recycled content, energy sources, community investment, safety performance, diversity in leadership, business integrity, regulatory compliance, and transparency.

Looking forward

This is just the first step in our efforts to produce solutions for a future low-carbon economy. We’re working hard with the governments of Canada and Quebec towards the deployment of ELYSIS™ carbon-free smelting technology at our Saguenay—Lac-St-Jean facilities. We believe this partnership will revolutionize aluminium production.

We hope you’ll join us in this next exciting phase of our evolution as we build for the future, responsibly.

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