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Chinese power major to start new aluminium line by mid-June Industrial trend  6/7/2006

Datun Gas and Power in China 's Jiangsu province is expected to start up a new 55,000 mt/year aluminium ingot production line by mid-June, a slight delay from an earlier planned startup deadline at end-May, a company official told Platts Tuesday.

"It 's taking a little longer than expected, but we are almost ready, so should start production in another week or so," he said. "We are working out some power issues at our newly completed power plant, which will be supplying power to the new aluminium plant," he added.

The new line has raised the company 's ingot capacity to 110,000 mt/year from a previous 55,000 mt/year.

"As we are starting in the middle of the year, we will not be able to reach full capacity or maximum output this year. We expect the new line to run at 60-70% capacity for most of this year," the official said. "In 2006, we will likely produce about 60,000-70,000 mt of aluminium in total, which is up from the 45,000 mt achieved in 2005. We aim to reach a full 110,000-115,000 mt next year," he added.

The company also has plans to further expand ingot capacity to 200,000mt/year, as part of its 5-year plan. "But there is no deadline for that project as the market is still generally volatile. We still want to expand, especially now that the market is so strong, but because of various changes in state policies, we have not received the proper approval from the government authorities...we are awaiting that now," the official said.

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