Process Gas Project: Delivering Environmental Sustainability

posted: 03/03/2022

The latest achievement in our continuing effort to reduce our sulphur dioxide and particulate footprint— is the $288 million Process Gas & Particulate Emissions Projects at Sudbury INO.

PGP & PEP - by the numbers

  • 1.24M+

    hours worked on site

  • 280

    record consecutive Zero Harm days

  • 86%

    reduction in hours above 120 parts per billion SO2 since 2014

  • 62%

    reduction in measured cadmium concentrations

  • 50%

    reduction in measured nickel concentrations

  • 66%

    reduction in measured cobalt concentrations

  • C$288M

    total project spend

  • 802

    trade partners full-time equivalent

Proudly, the PGP and PEP journey was successfully completed in the fall of 2021, led by our own employees, in partnership with our trade partners, which serves as a testament to the depth of experience, talent and commitment to innovation found locally. The positive, collaborative working relationships struck with our trade partners were a significant contributor in bringing these projects to fruition.

Follow Sudbury INO's journey in establishing a Glencore/Hatch fully integrated team that nurtured a culture that celebrated success and reinforced positive safety behaviours, ultimately leading  to the completion of these projects, safely and below budget – no small feat considering the length of time of the projects and their considerable complexity in terms of being built in an active facility.

The PGP and PEP journey

  • 2005

    Ontario Regulations 194 and 419 promulgated requiring the smelter reduce total SO2 emissions and modelled SO2, Cd and Ni emissions

  • 2008

    (1) Technology Scoping Study – Smelter Expansion study using the Isasmelt Process (2) Scoping Study Report – High Roast for 85 kt/y Ni (3) Scoping Study Report – Furnace Offgas Scrubbing Concept

  • 2010

    Scoping study final report

  • 2011

    Investment Committee Presentation (for project implementation). PFS Project Review and Plan

  • 2013

    Approval for PGP Phase 1 project

  • 2015

    (1) Improvements to the feed prep, roaster offgas and acid plant processes. (2) Major enhancements to the electric furnace. (3) New hybrid converters along with design modifications to the converter aisle flow to improve efficiency.

  • 2017

    Approval for PGP Phase 2 project funding

  • 2018

    Approval PEP Phase 1 funding

The first seeds of the PGP and PEP projects were sown in 2005 when the Ontario Government announced its future environmental regulatory requirements calling for significant reductions in sulphur dioxide (SO2), nickel and cadmium emissions. 

To ensure compliance while maintaining smelter capacity, the team examined a number of options. By 2013, the PGP team, working with a number of our highly qualified trade partners recommended a series of innovative changes to the existing smelting process and equipment that would yield significant reductions in SO2 and particulate emissions to the environment and local community.

Due to its scope, and to be able to make the changes required while the smelter continued to operate, the project was split into three phases.

  • Improvements to the Sulphur dioxide and acid plant gas capture from our roasters through improved feed blending
  • Major enhancements to the electric furnace
  • New hybrid converters along with design modifications to the converter aisle flow to improve efficiency
  • Reduced particulate emissions from the converter aisle through secondary hoods and a new stack
  • Enhancements at our acid plant
  • A new mixing station
  • Upgrades to our thaw shed for railcars
  • Improvements to dust capture at the furnace feed gallery

Moving more custom feed activities indoors, by investing in:

  • New Blending and Bulk Receiving buildings ventilated to a baghouse
  • New Package Receiving building and baghouse
  • New railcar and truck concentrate building and baghouse
  • New 3 season truck tire wash

Employees standing in front of the new three-season truck tire wash facility.

Safety and sustainability

Despite the complexities of making such significant upgrades to their smelter operations while it continued to operate, the projects were completed with more than 1,200,000 hours worked with zero Lost Time Injuries.

The PGP/PEP team’s safety program was coordinated with the smelter’s own internal goal: “Zero Harm”. It is based on the principle that every worker is entitled to a safe working environment and is responsible for working safely, all integral to a sustainable operation.

Local solutions — local benefits

Sudbury INO continues to monitor SO2 and particulate emissions at monitoring stations throughout the community. Since PGP/PEP’s completion, they have met the site specific standard commitments as set out by the Province while continually increasing their production levels and contributing to the local economy.

This is a demonstration of their ongoing commitment to the wellbeing of the environment, the community and their workforce.

Hatch and Lopes integrated team assessing the construction of the new baghouse.

We acknowledge the Glencore/Hatch Integrated Team, and all trade partners involved in realizing these projects.

Our Sudbury INO team was proud to work with trade partners to help modernize our smelting complex and to work with external feed suppliers to secure our future.

Further, the projects provided a significant economic benefit to the community through the engagement of the Integrated Team and their trade partners. This modernization of Sudbury INO's smelter operations truly is a reflection of our primary Purpose — to responsibly deliver the commodities that advance  everyday life.


Since publication of the above blog post, we're proud to say the Process Gas Project and Particulate Emissions Project received further recognition from Canadian Consulting Engineer, a magazine for professional engineers working as consultants in the construction field. We invite you to read more in their article, 2022 #CCEawards Showcase: Process Gas Project and Particulate Emissions Project.