January 13, 2020 – Baie-Comeau, Quebec- Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED)
Baie-Comeau business Lefebvre Industri-AL is an important player in the aluminum industry in the Côte‑Nord region. Founded in 2000, the family-run eight-employee SME-which specialized in managing alloy products for the Alcoa factory, its main client-has diversified its operations to focus on recycling residues such as aluminum dross.
Dross is a by-product in aluminum manufacturing, normally recovered through a complex, polluting process. This method also enables barely 50% of processed dross to be reused, requires the use of an oil furnace and leads to the discharge of dangerous materials destined for burial.
Innovating for the environment
Since 2014, Lefebvre Industri-AL’s team has been developing an innovative, non-polluting process to recover 100% of aluminum dross, while eliminating the production of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and use of polluting salts. In concrete terms, this process-expected to be implemented in 2020-will lead to the recovery of an additional 1500 tonnes of aluminum, and the elimination of over 11,600 tonnes of CO2 (GHGs) and 750 tonnes of polluting salts annually.
On a tour of Baie-Comeau, the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, today announced that CED would grant a repayable contribution of $1.7M to Lefebvre Industri-AL.
Expansion and new jobs
This contribution will enable the business to expand its factory and acquire technological equipment to produce aluminum with a low carbon footprint in Baie-Comeau. In addition, ten quality jobs will be created, and the business will be better able to meet Alcoa’s expectations while opening the door to new contracts.
This project is in line with the Government of Canada’s clean growth priorities. It also supports CED’s mission to encourage economic diversification in the Côte-Nord region, among other things by supporting the development of new processes to recover residues generated by mining and industrial activity.
“We are here to help workers, and Canadian SMEs. We are helping businesses equip themselves to grow while also fighting climate change. Thanks to Lefebvre Industri-AL’s project, greener aluminum production will be possible here in Baie-Comeau. And all regions of Canada will eventually benefit from it, as our aluminum smelters will pollute less and be more competitive.”
The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages
“For our team, this support from Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions represents a crucial lever. By making this project a concrete reality, we are encouraging the growth of a greener, more inclusive economy, while favouring strong regional expertise. This assistance will enable us to do better and to begin the decade by providing an innovative solution that is promising for the region and for the entire industry.”
Joanne Lefebvre, Director General, Lefebvre Industri-AL
Quebec aluminum smelters have the capacity to produce 2.9 million tonnes annually, according to figures from the AluQuébec Aluminum Cluster. Two-thirds of Quebec’s production of primary aluminum comes from the Côte-Nord and Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean regions.
By using mainly hydroelectricity and the latest technologies, Canadian production of aluminum has the lowest carbon footprint in the world.
Before Lefebvre Industri-AL created this process, no smelter residue recycling process existed to reclaim all processed material profitably without creating GHGs or dangerous residual materials for burial.
The new process will have a direct impact on the environmental footprint, as it aims to reclaim 100% of aluminum dross while eliminating the need to transport and bury several thousand tonnes of dangerous residual materials.
CED support is provided under the Regional Economic Growth through Innovation program. This program targets entrepreneurs focusing on innovation to optimize the performance and competitiveness of their organization, as well as regional economic stakeholders seeking growth and innovation for the benefit of the community.
Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions