Zhong­wang alu­minum out­put line to be on stream by the end of year

Firm says new Tian­jin fa­cil­ity to help firm tap en­ergy-ef­fi­cient light­weight auto mar­ket

China Daily (USA) - - BUSINESS - By WU YONG in Bei­jing and ZHANG MIN in Tian­jin Con­tact the writ­ers through wuy­ong@chi­nadaily.com.cn

China Zhong­wang Hold­ings Ltd, Asia’s big­gest alu­minum ex­tru­sion prod­uct man­u­fac­turer, said the first pro­duc­tion line of its Tian­jin plant will go on stream by the end of this year, which will help the firm tap the pros­per­ous light­weight auto mar­ket.

The 32 bil­lion yuan ($4.79 bil­lion) pro­ject will mainly pro­duce alu­minum flat rolled prod­ucts, which are widely used in trans­porta­tion and aero­space in­dus­tries. Its an­nual out­put at full ca­pac­ity will be 1.8 mil­lion met­ric tons.

“In the fu­ture, we will up­grade from a sup­plier of alu­minum prod­ucts to a sup­plier of com­pre­hen­sive light­weight so­lu­tions. The high­end prod­ucts will ac­count for 80 per­cent of our rev­enue in five to eight years,” said Zhong­wang ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor and pres­i­dent Lu Changqing.

Data from the Min­istry of In­dus­try and In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy showed that Chi­nese au­tomak­ers con­sumed 3.12 mil­lion tons of alu­minum al­loy prod­ucts last year, a year-on-year 3.2 per­cent in­crease. The es­ti­mates are that China, as the world’s fastest-grow­ing mar­ket, will con­sume 14 mil­lion tons of the ma­te­rial in 2020, ac­count­ing for as much as half of the global con­sump­tion.

In­dus­try lead­ers say that ever in­creas­ing de­mand for en­ergy-sav­ing and emis­sion re­duc­ing mea­sures is push­ing au­tomak­ers to look for al­ter­na­tive ma­te­rial and tech­nol­ogy.

“Alu­minum al­loy is one of the ma­jor choices to re­duce auto weight, and, there­fore, the con­sump­tion of gaso­line,” said Chen Quanxun, chief of China Non­fer­rous Me­tals In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion.

“We can ex­pect such com­pa­nies to ben­e­fit from the trend in the fol­low­ing decade,” Chen added.

Ch­ery Jaguar Land Rover Au­to­mo­tive launched its new car with a body us­ing up to 75 per­cent alu­minum al­loy this April. The new model thus is 40 per­cent lighter than the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion. Other big names that have joined in sim­i­lar moves in­clude Ford, Audi and Gen­eral Mo­tors.

Zhong­wang USA LLC an­nounced on Mon­day it would buy Aleris, a US alu­minum com­pany that is in the midst of pro­ject to pro­duce au­to­mo­tive body sheets for Ford.

Zhong­wang in­di­cated that the new plant had passed the qual­ity man­age­ment sys­tem cer­ti­fi­ca­tion of the au­to­mo­bile and avi­a­tion in­dus­try and even started pro­vid­ing sam­ples for some au­tomak­ers. But, it de­clined to give more in­for­ma­tion about the clients.

Sources close to the com­pany dis­closed that it had set up co­op­er­a­tion with such au­tomak­ers as Bril­liance and FAW and even en­gaged in the de­vel­op­ment of a com­plete alu­minum elec­tric ve­hi­cle with Cherry Auto.

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