Visit to a Chinese aluminum smelter by Minister of Industry, Labor and Mineral Resources
Minister Ove Karl Berthelsen visited Huang He Xin Ye, which is one of the most modern smelters in China, on November 9.
In the Qinghai-province of Western China there is a strong focus to use their large hydropower resources to create local development. China Power Investment (CPI) - China’s largest energy company - has invested some 7.598 billion RMB in a modern smelter producing 555.000 tonnes aluminum per year. The smelter uses two versions of some of the most modern Chinese aluminum smelting technology. The reason for visiting this smelter was exactly to see a smelter applying modern Chinese technology that is also expected to be applied in the aluminum project in Maniitsoq, Western Greenland.
The smelter in China consists of two production lines. Construction of the first was started in 2008 and completed in 2010. The second production line was build from 2009 to 2011.
Minister Ove Karl Berthelsen was guided around the smelter by CPI Deputy Director General of the Aluminum Dept., Liancheng Wu together with the managing director of the smelter. The production facilities were presented and employees at work stations showed how they worked and answered questions. The smelter is still in its ramp-up phase and CPI hopes that it will soon reach full capacity. The technical installations were in appearance similar to what can be found in Iceland, continental Europe and Northern America.
While the fundamental production technology is Chinese several Western companies have been involved in the construction and control of the systems. Both European and American companies have supplied systems as well as made quality control of installed systems and the plant. The smelter and the technology are fully compliant with the environmental legislation, and it was during the visit explained how the plant was far below the threshold values for e.g. flour. Flour has historically been one of the sources of local environmental impact from aluminum industry. There is a close cooperation with local environmental authorities, and during the last few years the Chinese authorities has increased their focus on environmental issues and the impact industry has locally.
The electricity is primarily sourced from a hydro power plant at the Yellow River appx. 100 km south of the smelter.
Website for the aluminum smelter (only in Chinese): www.hhxy.com.cn