Chinese aluminium smelting: a technological takeover
China shows no sign of slowing down its uptake of new smelter technology. Over the past decade, China increased aluminium production from 7.5Mt in 2005 (24% of global production) to 29.5Mt in 2015 (53% of global production). With Chinese producers using domestic providers for almost 100% of their smelter cells, Chinese technology now makes up the largest proportion of global aluminium production, accounting for almost three times that of the next most popular technology, Aluminium Pechiney. Following the Søderberg to prebake transition, Chinese technology has been at the forefront of high amperage smelters leading to greater productivity. The next trend has been the improvement of energy efficiency and the latest Chinese technology offers the lowest power consumption in the industry. Integration of low energy technology would put China in an even more competitive position, increasing the pressure on western smelters using older technologies.