Twenty years ago, the production of electrolytic aluminum in China was concentrated in Shandong Province and Henan Province. There were also many carbon anode production lines and petroleum coke calcination plants in this region. At the same time, this region is also the main supplier of carbon anode butts of China.
From 2000 to 2015, as China’s energy prices continue to rise, the electricity prices of the above two provinces are gradually losing their advantages. At the same time, China government attaches great importance to the environmental quality of the air and water in which residents live. The environment in this region cannot bear the heavy pollution any lnger. The environmental protection has become more and more strictly monitored, and the government has actively advocated “the return of “green mountains and green waters”.
Under this background, many electrolytic aluminum companies have moved to northwestern China (such as Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia). On the one hand, these areas are rich in coal resources, which can generate electricity for electrolytic aluminum with price advantage; on the other hand, the environmental supporting capacity of these areas is relatively strong.
However, with the gradual transfer of the production line of many enterprises to the northwest, some problems have been exposed in this area:
The northwest region itself has no bauxite and relatively short of petroleum coke resources. The alumina, carbon anode and calcined petroleum coke needed for electrolytic aluminum production have to be transported from other remote areas. On the one hand, the additional transport cost actually offsets the price advantage of electricity, on the other hand, the railway transport capacity in northwest China is also relatively limited, and some lines’ railway transport capacity in specific periods cannot meet the large demand of enterprises for raw materials.
Yunnan, Guizhou and Sichuan belong to the southwest region of China. In addition to abundant hydropower resources, the region’s electrolytic aluminum products can be exported directly to Southeast Asia through railways, while Southeast Asia also has a relatively high economic growth rate in the next few decades.
Based on the hydropower resources and location advantages of southwest China and the inherent demand of economic growth of southwest China, the southwestern regions China, especially Yunnan Province, will become the fastest growing region of electrolytic aluminum production in China in the next two decades.