SHANGHAI, Sept. 27 (SMM) -- SMM conducted a survey of aluminum plate and strip producers in Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces, and finds operating rates at most aluminum plate and strip producers in the two regions fell significantly during August amid heavy pressure from energy saving and emission reductions.
Jiangsu province is in the first-level early warning area for energy saving and emission reductions, so it is not surprising Jiangsu government took great efforts to conserve energy and cut emissions, and aluminum plate and strip producers in this region were greatly affected by power restrictions as a result. One producer with an annual capacity of approximately 60 kt in Xuzhou city said relevant government departments required them to cut monthly power use by 50%, and temporarily set the power rationing period from late July to late September.
Although Zhejiang province is in the third-level early warning area for energy conservation and emission reductions, the provincial government attached great importance to the task of conserving energy and cutting emissions. Relevant departments required city governments to set timetable, task table, and responsibility table in an inverted order to ensure the completion of the energy conservation task. As a result, local aluminum plate and strip producers also faced severe power restrictions. A medium-size producer with an annual capacity of 40 kt in Ningbo city said their power supplies in August have been restricted for 15 days, with August output falling by about 20% compared with July levels. A small-size producer with an annual capacity of 15 kt in Jiaxing city said their plant halted production every other day currently, with August output falling by 33% compared with July levels.
Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces are still taking measures to conserve energy and cut emissions in September when high temperature conditions have ended. Most producers predict output of aluminum plate and strip will unlikely experience significant growth in September even if the effect from China's Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day holidays is removed. According to SMM's incomplete statistics, the average operating rate at aluminum plate and strip producers was above 80% during the first seven months of 2010. Although some aluminum plate and strip producers tried to offset the negative impact from supply shortages of electricity by adjusting product structure or increasing purchasing volumes of semi-finished raw materials, these producers still face difficulties to deliver goods on time in accordance with user needs even with improved efficiency amid current electricity restriction policies, and some producers even have to give up some orders.
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