Teck puts mega project on hold

Teck Trail Operations announced Wednesday that it will put its construction of the $210 million No. 4 Furnace Project on hold.

Teck Trail Operations announced Wednesday that it will put its construction of the $210 million No. 4 Furnace Project on hold.

The company cited uncertain global economic conditions behind the decision to defer the project indefinitely.

The project is on hold not cancelled, said Richard Deane, Teck’s public affairs manager.

“Firstly, global market conditions are such that Teck is getting our capital spending in line with our current cash flow,” explained Deane.

“And the deferral of the No. 4 Furnace Project is part of a package of projects where spending is either being deferred or slowed down.”

Impact on staff is expected to be negligible.

“The Teck employees who were dedicated to this project are going to be deployed to other areas of Trail Operations. There is still some continued work required in order to fully prepare the area of the No. 4 project for a restart when we make a decision to restart construction.

“The contract work that would have occurred will now be postponed until we make a decision to restart.”

The deferral of the furnace project is the only one to affect Trail Operations with other projects in Chile, Alberta and elsewhere in B.C. also impacted.

“Teck remains committed to the long-term sustainability of Trail Operations,” said Greg Belland, general manager, Trail Operations, in a press release.

“Current production, including end-of-life electronics and lead acid battery recycling, will not be impacted by deferral, and construction of the $125 million No. 1 Acid Plant will continue.”

The No. 4 Furnace Project was designed to increase Teck’s capacity for recycling end-of-life electronics.

The project was unveiled in September 2011 and preliminary work had begun with site preparation and allocation of space.

The major excavation and construction of the No. 4 Furnace building itself has not yet commenced, the company said in its release.

When Teck announced the construction of the furnace last year, it included the construction of a new slag fuming furnace and settling furnace to be located in a building at the southeast corner of the property, overlooking downtown and the Columbia River.

Trail Operations began recycling televisions, computers and other electronic items on a trial basis in 2006, and was designated as a reprocessing site when the B.C. program started up in 2007.

After completing a $6-million feasibility study in 2010, the project received public approval at information sessions.

See story on Teck’s quarterly report on Page 2.