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Chinese, Russian companies to jointly build plants
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United Co Rusal, the world's largest aluminum producer, has signed an accord with China Power Investment Corp to build plants in China and Africa.

The companies will build an aluminum smelter in China's Qinghai Province and a bauxite and alumina complex in Guinea, Moscow-based Rusal said yesterday.

The partnership will allow Rusal to strengthen its presence in China, the world's largest aluminum producer and consumer, Chief Executive Officer Alexander Bulygin said, according to Bloomberg News. The complex in Guinea will reinforce the company's "raw materials base," he said.

Guinea has one-third of the world's reserves of bauxite, an ore that's processed into alumina, used in the production of aluminum. Rusal operates three alumina refineries in Guinea.

China Power will hold as much as 49 percent of the Guinea complex, which will have an annual production capacity of 2.8 million tons of alumina, Rusal said.

Rusal will control up to 49 percent of the Chinese smelter, which will produce more than 500,000 tons a year of the metal. The smelter will be powered by China Power's hydroelectric power plant on the Yellow River.

The Guinean and Chinese plants will be part of a "vertically integrated aluminum production complex," Rusal said. The "joint project may commence in 2009," it added. A feasibility study will be completed by mid-2008.

Rusal appointed Tatyana Soina as acting financial director, the company said in a separate statement yesterday.

(Shanghai Daily February 5, 2008)

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