Rio Tinto has announced it is investing a further C$92 million in maintenance work and upgrades to improve the reliability and efficiency of its Isle-Maligne hydroelectric station, which supplies power for the manufacture of low-carbon aluminum in Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, Quebec.
Located in Alma, the plant was commissioned 95 years ago and is the oldest in Rio Tinto's hydroelectric network. The upgrade work will work begin this summer and take place over two years, with one turbine-alternator group being replaced and major maintenance work undertaken on another. The plant will be upgraded with state-of-the-art instrumentation and information management technologies to deliver improved operational efficiencies. GE Renewable Energy will deliver engineering, fabrication and installation of the replacement turbine-alternator group.
The project is expected to generate C$75 million in economic activity in Quebec and more than a hundred workers will be involved at the peak of the work.
The investment adds to a C$160 million maintenance project announced in October 2020 to replace valves in the Isle-Maligne station.