July 11, 2011 / 5:51 AM / 6 years ago

China says to close 2 mln T smelting capacity in 2011

HONG KONG, July 11 (Reuters) - China has ordered local governments to phase out a total 2.0431 million tonnes of aluminium, copper, lead and zinc smelting capacity in 2011 as part of a multi-year plan to crack down on energy-intensive and polluting industries.

The target, contained in a statement on the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology website, is 13 percent higher that set in May, when Beijing said it aimed to phase out a total 1.813 million tonnes of outdated aluminium, copper, lead and zinc smelting capacity this year.

But production of the four metals is still likely to rise this year from 2010 as more new capacity comes on stream.

China is the world’s top producer and consumer of aluminium, lead and zinc and largest consumer of copper.

In the first five months of 2011, China produced 2.169 million tonnes of refined copper, 7.052 million tonnes of primary aluminium, 1.859 million tonnes of refined lead and 2.114 million tonnes of refined zinc, up 4-26 percent on the year.

More than 100 plants, including those owned by Aluminum Corp of China Ltd and Xinxin Mining , have been asked to phase out outdated capacity in 2011, the statement showed.

Of the total, 618,600 tonnes of aluminium smelting capacity should be shut down versus 371,000 tonnes in 2010.

Copper capacity closures are set at 425,300 tonnes in 2011 versus 144,900 tonnes last year.

China wants 660,900 tonnes of lead smelting capacity to close this year, up from 265,800 tonnes in 2010.

Zinc capacity is set at 338,300 tonnes in 2011 versus 293,700 tonnes last year.

To see a statement and list of capacity to be phased out, click:

here (Reporting by Polly Yam; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner)

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