Vale completes billion-dollar Sudbury smelter emissions reduction project

SUDBURY, Ont. — Vale Canada Ltd. says it has completed a billion-dollar project to reduce emissions at its Sudbury, Ont., smelter complex that has made the distinct 'superstack' chimney at the site obsolete.

The company, a subsidiary of Brazil-based Vale S.A., says the upgrades will reduce sulphur dioxide emissions by 85 per cent as well as reduce metal particulate emissions by 40 per cent.

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The modernization, which includes several new stages of filtration, has made the existing chimney that was built to better distribute emissions no longer needed.

The chimney, which was featured on a commemorative nickel and at 367 metres is the second tallest in the world, is slated for demolition once two shorter replacement stacks are finished.

Vale says the new 137-metre stacks, expected to be completed by 2020, will need far less energy and result in a 40-per-cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the smelter.

The emissions project was originally expected to cost $2 billion and finish in 2015 but the company decided to switch to a single furnace at the Copper Cliff smelter, pushing back the timeline and reducing costs.

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