China's Henan Shenhuo postpones commissioning of the first phase of its Yunnan aluminium smelter

China’s Henan Shenhuo Group has postponed commissioning of its new aluminium smelter in Yunnan province as the construction could not be completed due to poor weather. The 6.75 billion yuan ($ 952 million) project in Wenshan prefecture included an integrated hydropower and aluminium project with an annual smelting capacity of 900,000 t.

One of the biggest upcoming projects in China, it was supposed to be complete in two phases and come online this month. Shenhuo decided to move production from an industrial heartland like Henan to more remote areas such as Yunnan in Southwest China in order to utilize clean hydropower to generate electricity for its energy-intensive smelting process. “By the end of this year, all three stages of the first phase will be put into operation,” with the launches staggered at the end of October, November and December, respectively, a Shenhuo spokesman said. He added that the weather conditions in the mountains have been bad throughout, which delayed the original date of production commissioning announced in May 2018. The launch date was postponed from July to September. A second company official added that the construction delay was due to recent rains in Yunnan and not because of any raw material issue. “It has nothing to do with alumina,” he said, when asked if the company had enough supply of the raw material, production of which dropped to a 10-month low in August in China. The second official said the second phase of the project would launch in 2020 and it would be faster as all infrastructure developments would be complete in Phase 1. (, September 18, 2019)