China aluminium giant Hongqiao to publish carbon goals this year, chairman says

March 20 (Reuters) - China Hongqiao Group, the world’s biggest private-sector producer of aluminium, will this year publish targets for lower carbon emissions and an action plan on how to reach them, its chairman Zhang Bo said on Saturday.

China’s energy-intensive aluminium smelting industry emitted more CO2 than entire countries such as Indonesia last year, according to think tank Ember, and is coming under pressure to draw up plans in line with national goals to start reducing emissions before 2030 and become carbon neutral by 2060.

The two biggest steelmakers in China have already announced plans to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

Speaking at the China Development Forum, Zhang said his company was working with well-known domestic and international institutions and partners to formulate its carbon goals, though he did not name the institutions involved.

Hongqiao affiliate Shandong Weiqiao Pioneering Group and state-owned rival Aluminum Corp of China in January issued a joint proposal on how the Chinese aluminium sector should reduce emissions.

The company’s carbon targets and action plan will be announced to the public within this year, Zhang said, according to a transcript of his speech published on an official WeChat account.

“We hope to explore specific paths and methods for the low-carbon transformation of China’s aluminium industry,” he told the Forum, a high-level business gathering hosted by a foundation under the State Council, China’s cabinet.

Hongqiao, which produced 5.62 million tonnes of primary aluminium in 2020, has moved some smelting capacity to southwest China to use cleaner hydropower and is also pursuing an aluminium recycling project in its home province of Shandong. (Reporting by Tom Daly Editing by David Holmes)