With an annual production of 3.2 million metric tons, Canada is the fourth-largest producer of primary aluminium in the world. Even more impressive, nearly 90% of Canadian aluminium is produced in Québec.
Aluminium is the second largest sector in Québec after aerospace. With an export value of $6.5 billion, this sector represents 10% of the province's export market and 5% of all manufacturing shipments. Without a doubt, aluminium is a major industry in Québec.
Aluminium produced in Québec is the greenest in the world as more than 97% of all the energy produced in Québec is renewable and almost entirely hydroelectric. In fact, primary aluminium produced in Québec generates 67% and 76% less greenhouse gas than primary aluminium produced in the Middle East or China, respectively.
Québec Aluminium’s Energy Efficiency Advantage
Source : Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation, MESI
These two major economic powers are the two largest producers of primary aluminium in the world and mainly use coal energy to produce it. For example, in China, 90% of the electricity used in primary aluminium production comes from coal.
Thanks to its vast hydroelectric resources, Québec has ready access to renewable energy that has very limited environmental and climatic impacts compared to other traditional sources of electricity production. Also, given that several steps in the aluminium processing chain are taken into account when it comes to fighting climate change, many importers consider Québec a producer of choice. Additionally, importers are increasingly required to meet strict sustainable development standards.
With strong demand from growing industrial sectors such as transport equipment, construction and infrastructure, the future looks promising for aluminium producers and processors.
Since it is so light and durable, automakers are very attracted to aluminium as they are always looking for ways to make their vehicles lighter to meet new average fuel consumption standards.
Some processing methods are much in demand in North America, including large diameter extrusion (greater than 18 inches) which may reach 100 million pounds (45,000 metric tons) by 2027.
Indeed, a study conducted in the summer of 2017 on behalf of AluQuébec has identified a unique business opportunity in North America for a large extrusion press project. Some of the favourable factors identified in the study’s conclusions are: