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Chinese aluminium smelting: a technological takeover

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Report summary

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.

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    Chinese aluminium smelting: a technological takeover

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Tables and charts

This report includes 6 images and tables including:

Images

  • Global aluminium production by technology type, 2005 to 2015
  • Regional aluminium production above and below 300kA, 2010 and 2015
  • Average amperage and SEC by technology type production, 2015
  • Cumulative production over 300kA by technology , 1990 to 2015 and amperage of Chinese smelters, 2015
  • Average amperage at Chinese aluminium smelters by region, 2005 (left) and 2015 (right)
  • Amperage and SEC of upcoming smelter technologies from SAMI, Aluminium Pechiney, Dubal and Hydro

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