With Vale's announcement this morning that it plans to retire its iconic Superstack, we thought you might be interested to learn more about the structure.
Here are six facts about the Superstack you might not know:
- Construction of the Superstack began in 1970 at a cost of $25 million and entered into full operation in 1972. The Superstack was built to disperse sulphur gases and other byproducts of the smelting process away from the City of Sudbury.
- The Superstack is 1,250 feet (381 metres) high, the tallest chimney in the western hemisphere and the second largest in the world. It is also the second tallest freestanding structure of any type in Canada, behind the CN Tower.
- The Superstack is 35 metres wide at the bottom with one-metre-thick walls. At the top it is 16 metres wide with 25 cm thick walls. It has 937 tonnes tons of reinforcing steel buried in its concrete shell and a stainless steel liner that weighs 17,585 tonnes.
- Following completion of the stack’s concrete shell, a top-to-bottom vertical steel ladder was installed inside with rest platforms for maintenance.
- There is a steel flue system to carry gases from Vale’s Copper Cliff Smelter to the Superstack. This system currently carries gases travelling at a top speed of more than 85 kilometres per hour and at a maximum temperature of 390 degrees Celsius.
- Construction of the Superstack was followed by environmental reclamation projects across the City of Greater Sudbury including the liming and seeding of more than 3,200 hectares as well as the planting of approximately 300,000 trees annually.