Inco launches new state-of-the-art facility to reduce emissions in Sudbury by 34 per cent
Project utilizing unique technology could be operational ahead of schedule
Toronto, June 23, 2006 – Inco Limited (TSX, NYSE:N) today announced the commissioning of a new, state-of-the-art $115 million facility that will reduce sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions from its Sudbury operations by 34%.
Using unique fluid bed roaster (FBR) off-gas scrubbing technology, the FBR SO2 Abatement Project will lower allowable emissions from the current regulatory limit of 265 kilotonnes to 175 kilotonnes annually. The project is scheduled for completion by the end of December 2006, but depending on how smoothly the ramp-up process goes the facility could possibly be fully operational by early fall.
“This project continues a steady decline in SO2 emission levels at Inco’s Ontario operations since 1970,” said Inco Chairman and CEO Scott Hand. “We are committed to doing even more to improve our environmental performance, and continuing to invest in new and innovative solutions to reach our goal of a 75% reduction from current emission limits by 2015.”
Since the Ontario government introduced the Countdown Acid Rain Program in 1986, Inco has spent close to $1 billion to reduce SO2 emissions at its Sudbury operations. The FBR 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, Inco will have cut total metal emissions at its Copper Cliff smelter by 80% over 1988 levels, and reduced overall SO2 emissions by 90% since 1970. Inco’s goal is to lower SO2 emissions to 66 kilotonnes by 2015.
“These actions will help improve air quality in Ontario and in our neighbouring states and provinces,” said Environment Minister Laurel Broten. “This announcement is another example of the great strides Inco has made recently to find new and innovative ways to reduce air emissions.”
Fluid Bed Roasting is part of the smelting process where nickel sulphide is roasted to make nickel oxide feed for carbonyl refining. The FBR SO2 Abatement Project involved three main components:
• Construction of a gas-cleaning facility adjacent to the existing FBR plant at the smelter;
• Expansion of the existing Acid Plant to handle clean SO2 from the new gas-scrubbing facility; and
• Construction of 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.
“Being a good neighbour means reducing our environmental footprint wherever we work,” said Mr. Hand. “By harnessing the innovation and ingenuity of our people, and working in partnership with government, we’re committed to continually improving our environmental performance in Sudbury and around the world,” added Mr. Hand.
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” that were based on Inco’s expectations, estimates and projections. The forward-looking statements included in this release represent Inco’s views as of the date of this release. These forward-looking statements include, among other things, statements with respect to Inco’s business strategy, plans, outlook, projections, targets and expectations relating to its Sudbury operations, emissions at the Sudbury operations and the project related to the commissioning of the new fluid bed roaster. Forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause Inco’s actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. While Inco anticipates that subsequent events and developments may cause its views to change, it specifically disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing its views as of any date subsequent to the date of this release.
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