China's 1st overseas alumina oxide project starts operation

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Employees of China Hongqiao Group, the world's largest aluminum-maker by capacity, are seen at the company's first overseas production facility in Borneo, Indonesia, on May 21, 2016. [Photo/Xinhua] 

A Chinese-invested smeltery was officially put into production on Saturday in Indonesia.

The smeltery, invested by China Hongqiao Group Limited and Winning Investment (HK) Company Limited, is the first giant aluminum oxide project that Chinese companies have invested in overseas.

The two Chinese companies jointly signed the cooperation agreements with Indonesia-based PT Cita Mineral Investindo Tbk on the aluminum oxide project and supporting facilities on Oct. 3, 2013, when Chinese President Xi Jinping paid a state visit to Indonesia.

The production line is part of the 2 million-tonne-a-year smelting plant with a total investment of 1 to 1.5 billion U.S. dollars which is operated by PT Well Harvest Winning Alumina Refinery, a joint venture which Hongqiao holds a 56 percent stake.

The factory, integrated with a self-produced power plant and seaport in West Kalimantan Province's Ketapang Regency, processes local bauxite into alumina, a material for production of aluminium.

Indonesia, the world's main nickel ore exporter and supplier of bauxite, banned raw ore export in early 2014 to encourage the building of smelters and shift exports from raw materials to higher-value products.

Hong Kong listed Hongqiao aims to produce 6 million tonnes of aluminium by the end of 2016, from 5.19 million tonnes last year. Hongqiao enjoys a much lower production costs than its rivals as it has its own power plants, in-house upstream materials and other production facilities.

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