SEOUL, Dec 21 (Reuters) - South Korea's Dongyang Gangchul will review building a $350 million aluminium refinery in Vietnam to meet 25 percent of South Korea's aluminium demand, the company and Korean government said on Tuesday.
Dongyang Gangchul, South Korea's No.1 aluminium extruding firm, has agreed with Vietnam National Coal, Mineral Industries Holding Corp (VINACOMIN) to proceed with building the aluminium refinery in Vietnam, the world's No. 4 bauxite producer, the ministry of knowledge economy said in a statement.
"We will conduct a feasibility study in the next 12 months over building an aluminium refinery and product-producing facilities near either of two Vietnamese alumina-production sites," said managing director Sang-woo Park at Dongyang Gangchul.
If built, the refinery would produce 300,000 tonnes of refinery aluminium ingots by utilising 600,000 tonnes of alumna to be produced by VINACOMIN, Park said.
Of the total aluminium ingots, Dongyang Gangchul would ship some metals into Korea, while converting them into aluminium products also to ship to Korea, he added.
VINACOMIN owns mines of bauxite, which is converted to aluminium via alumina, while it is scheduled to produce 1.3 million tonnes of alumina per year from 2011.
The ministry statement said: "While South Korea sees its aluminium demand rising, all of the demand is met by imports."
South Korea's aluminium markets are estimated at 2.5 million tonnes.
Shares of Dongyang Gangchul closed up 3.36 percent on Tuesday, outperforming a 0.83 percent gain in the wider market .