Confident of hitting target, Horne Foundry will invest 0 million to reduce its pollutant emissions

Confident of hitting target, Horne Foundry will invest $500 million to reduce its pollutant emissions

The controversial Horne Smelter will invest $500 million in retrofit projects to reduce its pollutant emissions and meet the goal of 15 nanograms of arsenic in air within five years, a project that requires state support from Quebec.

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“As with any large company, there are always discussions with the government when it comes to a major investment like this,” confirms Claude Bélanger, head of copper operations in North America at Glencore.

La Fonderie, owned by multinational Glencore, which just posted record profits of $19 billion

“We are already mobilized, our teams are already on the ground, the organization is ready to start working and tackle its projects,” said Mr. Bélanger.

In recent months, Business Secretary Pierre Fitzgibbon and Prime Minister François Legault have both opened the door to public aid for the company.

– Listen to Alexandre Dubé’s interview with Émilise Lessard-Therrien, Solidarity MP for Rouyn-Noranda–Témiscamingue on QUB radio:

New goal

The foundry has also confirmed that it will be able to meet the 15 ng/m3 ceiling required by the Department of Environment, a Public Health recommendation.

This new limit is almost seven times lower than the current standard, which allows the smelter to release up to 100 nanograms of arsenic per cubic meter into the air.

But the company still has no plan to meet Quebec’s 3 ng/m3 standard, which has been called for by several stakeholders and citizens of the Notre-Dame District.

“The investments we are planning will make the Horne Smelter one of the lowest-emission copper smelters in the world,” said Mr. Bélanger.

Several plumbing projects

To that end, the company will build a new “state of the art” part of the factory and review the copper transformation processes, in what the foundry calls the PHENIX project.

The facility will also have a new system to capture dust and fugitive emissions and establish a safe zone to protect the Notre-Dame neighborhood immediately in front of the facilities.

Glencore will also make transitional improvements to gradually reduce its emissions over the next few years.

So it plans to reach a threshold of 65 ng/m3 arsenic in the air next year, then 45 ng/m3 for the years 2024 to 2026 to have emissions of 15 ng/m3 in 2027.

The company also claims that with these works, 97% of the urban area of ​​Rouyn-Noranda will have arsenic levels of 7 ng/m3 or less and 84% of the urban area will have airborne arsenic levels at the standard of 3 ng/m3.

However, the foundry is not planning any layoffs during the work.

“We want to keep the 650 employees, we are very proud of these 650 employees who continue to work day after day to improve the situation in the foundry. The market is tough for everyone today I think so we are watching that closely but we want to keep those jobs.”