SHANGHAI, Jan. 30 (SMM) - The Ministry of Industry & Information Technology (MIIT) issued January 28 the Modified Entrance Requirement for Aluminum Industry 2012 (Draft for Soliciting Opinions). Higher threshold was set for alumina capacity in this modified version compared with the previous one.
According to the draft, alumina projects using domestic and imported bauxite must have an annual capacity of 800,000 mt or above. In contrast, the previous Entrance Requirement requires only 600,000 mt/yr or above in capacities for alumina projects using imported bauxite.
SMM estimates that alumina capacity in China totaled 52.77 million mt/yr last year. Enterprises with capacity below 800,000 mt/yr represented a combined capacity of 2.32 million mt/yr, accounting for 4.4% of China’s total alumina capacity. This means that once the draft is passed, 4.4% of China’s total alumina capacity will be eliminated.
The draft sets requirement on capacity of high-alumina pulverized coal ash for the first time.
According to the draft, alumina projects using alumina-rich pulverized coal ash (alumina content no less than 40%) must be adjacent to pulverized coal ash sites and capacity must reach 500,000 mt/yr or above. Besides, alumina enterprises must be equipped with abundant alumina-rich pulverized coal ash and water resources as well as convenient transportation facilities. The service life of alumina-rich pulverized coal ash must be no less than 30 years.
Extracting alumina from alumina-rich pulverized coal ash is still in the process of industrialization across China at the moment. The National Development & Reform Commission listed alumina-rich pulverized coal ash comprehensive utilization into the category as encouraged by the country for the first time back in March 2011.
Alumina production with alumina-rich pulverized coal ash is emerging technology, which requires heavy inputs in the early stage. Although there are some supportive policies at the moment, there is a lack of substantial subsidies such as tax breaks.