The ALCOA Smelter in Greenland

The project aimed to provide a detailed overview of the environmental impacts, seen in a life cycle perspective, of an aluminium smelter with an annual capacity of 360,000 tonnes planned for instalment in West Greenland.

The client

Greenland Homerule – Greenland

Our role

The project was lead by 2.-0 LCA consultants  but data collection was carried out in collaboration with experts from Alcoa. The study report was writen together with PhD Mikkel Thrane from the Research group for Environmental Assessment and Governance (EAG) at Aalborg University. Project completed July 2009.

Carbon footprint of aluminium smelter

The project applied the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) method and it mainly focuses on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, or carbon footprint to use a catchier phrase. The focus on GHG emissions is partly a result of the requirements from the commissioner of the study and partly due to the fact that the LCA forms part of a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) in which other types of impacts are assessed separately. Other impact categories such as ozone depletion, acidification, eutrophication, eco-toxicity, and human toxicity are included in the present study and presented as part of the results, but are not assessed as detailed as GHG emissions and are therefore subject to considerable uncertainties. The results of the project was described in the project report: Life cycle assessment of aluminium production in new Alcoa smelter in Greenland. The project was initiated by Alcoa and the Government of Greenland.