The People’s Republic of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) advised domestic aluminium smelters on Wednesday that those who were legally entitled to replace capacity closed since 2011 are obligated to do so by the end of this year.
The MIIT statement continued by indicating that the rule applies to firms that produce either molten aluminium or aluminium ingots, and companies that are replacing capacity either internally or via merger or acquisition fall under the rule’s auspices.
The rule will allow firms with legal but out-of-date equipment to replace such implements with more state-of-the-art facilities as long as that capacity has been listed on a province-level index for replacement, the notice elaborated.
This move is but the latest in a series of steps taken in recent months by the world’s most prolific aluminium-producing state to respond to worldwide condemnation of its over-capacity aluminium sector. Last year the state announced capacity closures of between 3 million and 4 million metric tons per annum.
Beijing has also instituted mandatory winter cuts of 30 percent at alumina refining and aluminium smelting facilities in and around 28 eastern cities in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region in an effort at battling increased winter smog in those areas.