2012- Kitimat, BC is a company town planned and built by the Aluminum Company of Canada during the 1950s and continues to be the home of a large aluminum smelter operation that is now operated by Rio Tinto Alcan. Economic development organizations in the Northwest region are continually assessing opportunities for to create secondary spin-off industries that will help diversify the regional economy.
Under this project, the City of Terrace secured funding from Northern Development's Industry Attraction program to attract value-added aluminum manufacturing to the Kitimat-Terrace region. The development of a locally-based aluminum component manufacturing cluster opportunity would take advantage of the supply and cost advantages manufacturers would gain by locating nearby Kitimat's primary aluminum smelter.To support this initiative, Rio Tinto Alcan agreed to assist with identifying downstream products that could be produced from the specific aluminum alloys produced at the smelter.
The study has now identified market and process opportunities that are specific to locating aluminum product manufacturing in the Kitimat-Terrace region and a target list of companies has been developed for actively attracting to the region.
The comprehensive business case analysis and marketing plan for attracting value-added aluminium manufacturing to Kitimat-Terrace has been developed to demonstrate that the presence of the current aluminum smelter is a major economic development asset in the community that can be leveraged to create new wealth-creating industry clusters in the region.
The marketing plan developed under this project targets secondary aluminum manufacturing companies and provides a comprehensive rationale for co-locating their component manufacturing facilities within close proximity of the Rio Tinto Alcan smelter operations in Kitimat. The successful attraction of new value added industries to the region will provide a stabilizing force within the local economy, creating new jobs in new industry sectors that would provide further diversification from northwest BC's traditional reliance on resource-based sectors such as mining and forestry.