09.06.2019 kl 10:08 1535

The aluminium business is booming in China, despite complications from a sluggish economy and challenges with fluctuating global bauxite supplies – although a February 2019 decision in Malaysia, once China’s top supplier, to lift that nation’s three-year moratorium may stabilize the latter. These turbulences aside, China Hongqiao, Chalco, Shandong Xinfa, East Hope Group have been going from strength to strength and are dominating the list of the world’s biggest producers by output. They’re also defying a Chinese government that either cannot or will not enforce pollution standards at aluminium production sites.

In 2017, the company was told to suspend construction of coal-fired power plants amounting to nearly 6 million kW of electricity generation at its Shandong sites. China’s National Energy Administration was told to withhold licensing for the businesses, or ensure that they had all necessary documentation to permit the facilities. The effort to limit Xinfa’s power generation – and therefore, its aluminium production – was reinforced by a May 2018 plan for Shandong issued by China’s Ministry of Ecology & Environment.

Yet there’s no evidence that Xinfa is complying. To the contrary, data provided as of February 2018 by environmental monitoring group SourceWatch found no proof that the plant ever stopped operation or construction; in fact, satellite images show a new cooling tower under construction at one site. So it appears that in 2019, despite the directives of the Chinese government, Xinfa’s illegal aluminium plants keep producing aluminium, and either no one can or will do anything about it.

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