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Rusal to boost aluminum, alumina output to meet strong demand

Rusal to boost aluminum, alumina output to meet strong demand

United Company Rusal, the world's biggest producer of aluminum, said Wednesday it plans to expand its production of aluminum and alumina to capitalize on strong demand, especially in the developing world.
UC Rusal, formed from the merger earlier this year of Russia's OAO United Company Rusal, rival Sual Group and the aluminum assets of Swiss-based commodities trader Glencore International AG, aims to raise its annual aluminum output by 65 percent from the current 4 million tons in five years, said Peter Finnimore, the company's aluminum sales director.
Moscow-based Rusal also plans to boost its alumina output by 66 percent from 11 million tons a year, company he said.
The increase comes amid expectations for enormous growth in demand, especially from China and other major developing economies such as Brazil and India, Finnimore said.
"UC Rusal has a very positive view of the fundamentals going forward," he said.
He noted strong demand for aluminum in place of higher priced steel, and a growing tendency to use aluminum because of its recyclability.
"That will support the growth story going forward for many years to come," he said at a news conference at an industry exhibition in Shanghai.
China is the world's biggest producer and consumer of aluminum, with output at 9.3 million tons of primary aluminum in 2006, up from 3.4 million tons in 2001.
Industry forecasts suggest China's soaring demand for aluminum will make it a net importer, given the metal's use in many booming industries, especially electronics, autos and housing.
"It's just a matter of time," Finnimore said, suggesting that the time would probably come in 2009 or 2010.
Finnimore said Rusal, which has offices in Shanghai and Beijing, was keen to supply aluminum to the Chinese market, and was looking for opportunities. But he had no new deals to announce.
The company owns a cathode plant in north-central China's Shanxi province.


Updated : 2021-04-20 07:08 GMT+08:00