Inco Ltd. has started work on a $115 million project to further reduce sulphur dioxide (SO 2) emissions from its Copper Cliff operations.
The company will use whatÂ?s called Fluid Bed Roaster (FBR) off-gas scrubbing technology to cut emissions by 34 per cent.
The project is the result of a Ministry of the Environment Control Order issued last year and will lower emissions from the current limit of 265 kilotonnes annually to 175 kilotonnes annually by the end of 2006.
Â?This is a sizable investment to further improve the environment and help create the future of our Sudbury operations,Â? said Mick Throssell, IncoÂ?s general manager of smelting and copper business for Canadian and British operations.
Â?This project provides the operational certainty we need to plan for the future here in Sudbury and continues a steady decline in SO2 emission levels at Inco over the last 15 years.Â?
The FBR commitment brings to $845 million IncoÂ?s total investment in programs to reduce sulphur dioxide emissions since the province-wide Countdown Acid Rain Program was introduced by the provincial government of David Peterson in 1986.
The project has the added benefit of decreasing total metal emissions of nickel, copper, arsenic and lead by 80 to 100 tonnes per year.
With this latest improvement, the smelter will have cut total metal emissions by 80 per cent since it began its reduction program in 1988.
Â?WeÂ?re encouraged by Inco making that kind of commitment to the Sudbury operations,Â? said Steelworkers staff representative Dan OÂ?Reilly.
Â?ItÂ?s good news for our members. EverybodyÂ?s worried about things flowing to VoiseyÂ?s Bay. This kind of investment shows the companyÂ?s commitment to the Sudbury operations.Â?
The FBR project will involve an expansion of the existing acid plant to handle clean SO2 from the new gas-scrubbing facility.
Work is underway on this portion of the project with an expected completion date of May 2003.
A second part of the project is a weak acid treatment plant at the Copper Cliff mill filter plant to replace the current flash furnace slime system and allow for treatment of metals scrubbed by the gas-cleaning facility.
This will be operational by the end of the first quarter in 2004.
The final component is a gas-cleaning facility to be built adjacent to the existing FBR plant at the smelter. This will be operational by the end of the first quarter in 2006.
Â?This project will improve the workplace environment at the filter plant which is good news for our members,Â? said Local 6500 president Jim Gosselin.
Â?ItÂ?s also good news for the local economy because the money is being spent in Sudbury and good news for the community that lives with the emissions from the plant.Â?
The FBR plant is part of the smelting process where nickel sulphide is roasted to make nickel oxide feed for carbonyl refining.