BAIE-COMEAU, Que. — Alcoa is investing $1.2 billion in its aluminum smelter in Baie-Comeau., Que., a move the company says will guarantee 3,900 direct and indirect jobs.
CEO Alain Belda and Premier Jean Charest said Tuesday the money will go to modernizing the 51-year-old facility.
Investissement Quebec, a provincial investment agency, is offering a $228-million interest-free loan guarantee as part of the project.
The modernization will boost the smelter's production capacity to 548,000 metric tonnes a year, which represents an increase of 110,000 metric tonnes.
The project is slated to begin in 2008 and to end in 2015.
Alcoa is one of the world's biggest producers of aluminum and is active in aluminum smelting and recycling.
The company made a bid for Canadian aluminum giant Alcan last year, but lost out to global mining giant Rio Tinto.
''I am very proud and very happy to be among our employees today,'' Belda said. ''Their work and their commitment to the success of their smelter constitute a guarantee of Alcoa's future in Quebec.
''Recently, each of our Quebec smelters celebrated the anniversary of their start-up: 50 years in Baie-Comeau, 20 years in Becancour, and 15 years in Deschambault. We can now face the future with confidence.''