An unreliable power supply will not slow down China Hongqiao’s plan to move 2 million metric tons per annum of aluminium smelting capacity to Yunnan province according to a company spokesperson.
The firm has gone on record previously as intending to move over 60 percent of its capacity to the southwestern province by the end of 2025. Yunnan has become a highly attractive destination for Chinese aluminium firms in recent years due to its abundance of hydroelectric power.
To date, Hongqiao has constructed 850 thousand metric tons of aluminium capacity in Yunnan through June and, according to China Hongqiao advisor Ron Knapp, the relocation of another 2.03 million metric tons per annum to Yunnan Hongtai aluminium smelter will continue despite power disruptions.
“I see that as a short term issue. We are building for the long-term, and I believe Yunnan is building for the long term as well, with plans for wind and solar as well as energy storage.”
Yunnan has experienced less rainfall this year than the norm, which has caused problems with the steady flow of its hydroelectric power. As a result, the local government has ordered up to 20 percent capacity reductions by primary aluminium producers in the province.
Knapp went on to point out that the movement of aluminium capacity from Shandong to Yunnan is the biggest such relocation ever.
“We are expecting 75% of our carbon footprint to be addressed through moving out of fossil-fueled electricity,” he concluded.