More aluminium capacity is moving south in the People’s Republic of China, as sources indicate that China Hongqiao Group is expected to relocate roughly 1 million metric tons per annum to Yunnan province.
A pair of sources claiming knowledge of the situation told Reuters last week of the move of aluminium smelting capacity from Shandong province to the Honghe prefecture. This will join the 2 million metric tons per annum moved to neighboring Wenshan prefecture since 2019.
The move is part of the firm’s larger push to cut emissions by taking advantage of the abundant hydropower resources in the province. With this move, almost half of Hongqiao’s 6.46 million metric tons per annum will soon be housed in Yunnan province.
Official records show the registration of Yunnan Honghe New Material Co on April 27, which will be a non-ferrous smelting and processing enterprise held as a subsidiary of Yunnan Hongqiao New Material Co and supported by CN¥12 billion (US$1.86 billion).
The sources who spoke to Reuters did not identify a time frame for the move, and Hongqiao declined to comment when asked.
Hongqiao’s relocation of aluminium smelting capacity to Yunnan province is also part of China’s bid to begin cutting back on carbon emissions by the end of the decade. As a result, opening new smelting capacity is difficult, but relocation is somewhat easier.
China Hongqiao continues to be the biggest privately-held smelter in the Middle Kingdom. State-owned Chinalco (under the shared auspices of Chalco and Yunnan Aluminium) is the only organization with a greater aluminium-smelting capacity.