About RMB70bn ($10.72bn) of projects are planned, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said, citing the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

It warned that China’s aluminium industry is facing excess capacity, with national total capacity at about 21Mt/y and production at 15.65Mt in 2010. Even so, companies are still rushing to build new plants, in Xinjiang in particular.

However, some industry insiders insist that last year’s real aluminium output was much higher than officially recorded, saying it could be 17.8Mt.

The government is determined to rein in overinvestment in the aluminium industry but it is a tough task as many state governments place economic growth as a priority.

China’s aluminium industry is expected to become more energy efficient in coming years with aluminium capacity instructed to shift ‘in an orderly way’ to the western regions where energy costs are comparatively low. China’s primary capacity is expected to reach 25Mt/y by the end of next year.

Source China Metals Email chinametal@xinhua.org