SHANGHAI, Dec. 27 (SMM) -- Asia Aluminum (China) Company (AAC) put its new advanced high-end aluminum plate, sheet, and strip project into operation on December 17th. The first phase of the project included capacity of 400 kt/yr, while the second phase added 300 kt/yr. The project is the largest of its kind in China and Asia, and had a total investment of RMB 7 billion.
Kuang Haifeng, General Manager of ACC, said the project is a key step in the company's strategic development after weathering the recent debt crisis.
This project is the only project of its kind in China containing a complete aluminum product line and contains the world's most advanced 5-stand tandem cold rolling mill unit, 1+5 continuous hot rolling mill unit, electromagnetic stirring melting furnace, and the world's largest single high-rack warehouse. This project is designed to produce sophisticated special aluminum semis, covering an entire range of aluminum plate, sheet, and strip products for downstream manufacturing. Major products in the first phase of the project include aluminum plate used in computers, mobile phones, and other electronic products, as well as aluminum plate used in high-speed rail and subway trains, PS plate, and aluminum strips used for cans. At present, those aluminum products are mainly supplied through imports. Major products in the second phase of the project include medium and heavy aluminum plate for aerospace, ships, and other military products, as well as some highly-sophisticated aluminum semis used for aerospace.
Zhong Dongping, Director of AAC, revealed that product quality has reached international standards, but costs will be one third less than competitors. The initial plan is to gradually end China's dependence on imports of high-end aluminum plate, sheet, and strip.
Kuang Huizhen, the original major shareholder of AAC, said its aluminum profile project will become an independent listed company after bringing in strategic investors, while the aluminum plate, sheet, and strip project will not become a listed company for the time being.
SMM comment: China's total imports of aluminum plate, sheet, and strip, and their proportion in China's consumption from end-users fell significantly in recent years, and although this situation does not indicate that China has completely ended the dependence on imported high-end aluminum products, domestic enterprises including AAC are making great efforts to narrow the domestic supply shortage of high-end and even highly-sophisticated aluminum plate, sheet, and strip products. In this context, the technical barriers will not be the biggest problem faced by China's exports of aluminum plate, sheet, and strip in the future, but the intensifying international trade barriers will become the most critical factor.
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