Business / Companies

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

By Wu Yong and Zhang Min (China Daily) Updated: 2016-09-02 10:03

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

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 high-end 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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