21 Sep 2009 13:12

China to utilize more aluminum production capacity in H2

Shanghai. September 21. INTERFAX-CHINA - China is expected to utilize more aluminum production capacity in the second half when compared with the same period in 2008, a senior engineer from the Aluminum Corporation of China (Chinalco) said at a conference in Shanghai on Sept. 19.

"China's aluminum consumption is increasing as the government is trying to ensure the country's economic growth, which will support a rise in domestic aluminum prices and the resumption of operations at aluminum production facilities in the second half of the year," Jiang Yujing, a senior engineer from Chinalco, said at the China Nonferrous Metals Spot and Futures Market Interactive Summit.

From May to August this year, rebounding domestic aluminum prices have encouraged Chinese aluminum smelters to resume operations at about 2 million tons worth of previously idle aluminum production facilities. Meanwhile, about 1.34 million tons worth of newly-built aluminum production facilities kicked off operations during the period, according to Jiang.

Jiang said that China's total aluminum production capacity is nearing 20 million tons per annum, of which around 14 million tons is operational at present.

China produced 7.87 million tons of primary aluminum in the first eight months of 2009, down 9.5 percent year-on-year.

Jiang also predicts that China will reach the milestone of producing 100 million tons of primary aluminum in early October, when the country celebrates the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the People's Republic of China. The country started producing in 1954.