Superstack to be decommissioned, but no immediate plans for demolition

Vale will take its Copper Cliff smokestack out of service by 2020 and eventually replace it with two smaller, more energy-efficient stacks, the mining company announced at a news conference today.

'Hard to believe' Superstack could be gone one day: Sudbury MP Thibeault

Vale announced that it will replace the 380-metre high Superstack and replace it with two smaller, more efficient stacks by 2020. (Yvon Theriault/Radio-Canada)

Vale will replace its Copper Cliff smokestack with two smaller, more energy-efficient stacks, the mining company announced at a news conference today.

The construction of the new stacks will begin in 2017, the company said. But no plans have been announced for the Superstack's demolition. Instead, it will be placed in "care and maintenance mode" until a plan can be developed for what to do with the shell. 

"We are proud to be reducing emissions to a point where the Superstack is no longer required," said Vale vice-president Stuart Harshaw.

With the stack being taken out of service, Harshaw said that kids in the area will one day view the Sudbury skyline differently. And told those students who were attendance that they would never have to "taste sulphur."

Two stacks will reduce emissions further

According to Vale, the change to two stacks will help reduce the smelter's greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 40 per cent.

At the same time, Vale's Clean AER Project will reduce particulate emissions by 40 per cent and dramatically reduce sulfur dioxide emissions by 85 per cent.
A view from the top of the Sudbury, Ont. Superstack, 380 meters in the air. (Drone Malone/YouTube)

The 380 metre high Sudbury landmark — some would call it iconic — was built in 1970 by INCO to reduce environmental degradation in the city. INCO was purchased by Vale in 2006.

Talk of reducing the stack surfaced in 2014, when Vale studied the feasibility of reducing the size or eliminating it altogether.

At the time, Vale said if they chose to eliminate the the stack, a third party company would be hired to decommission and tear it down.

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