State-run aluminium and alumina mammoth Aluminum Corporation of China (Chinalco) is the next major aluminium producer to fall in line with its country’s mandated production cuts.
Representatives of the firm announced Wednesday that it will be cutting its alumina-refining capacity by 2 million metric tons through next March in order to comply with Beijing’s campaign to fight winter smog.
While speaking at a conference in Fuzhou, Chinalco vice president Lu Dongliang revealed that the firm started cuts in alumina refining last month at refineries in Henan and Shandong. He continued by saying that the firm would not need to make cuts in aluminium smelting, and assured the assembled audience that the curtailed alumina production would begin again once the period of mandatory cuts ended on March 15.
Chinalco joins a raft of other aluminium and alumina producers called upon by the government to make production cuts this winter. Beginning Wednesday, aluminium and alumina producers in 28 major Chinese cities were ordered to cut production by 30 percent in an effort at combating smog. Ordinarily a problem during the rest of the year, smog levels become significantly worse during the winter, as the combustion of coal spikes sharply, propelled mostly by increased use for heating purposes. As the lion’s share of China’s aluminium sector is powered via coal-fired electrical plants, Beijing hopes that cuts in output will result in a drop in smog.
Based in Beijing, Aluminum Corporation of China (Chinalco), China’s sole alumina producer, is the world’s fourth-largest aluminium producer and second-largest alumina refiner. The firm has operations in over 20 countries and regions.