High China electricity cost does not deter Malaysian aluminium firm

FOSHAN, May 29 — High electricity costs in China will not deter Press Metal Bhd’s development, said Press Metal group chief executive officer Datuk Paul Koon Poh Keong in The Star Online.

As its first 40,000 tonne (44,000 ton) Foshan plant opens, Koon says Press Metal Bhd plans to add a further 160,000 tonnes capacity at that plant. And it will raise export contributions to 60% in 2007 from 40% last year. For the first two years, 70% to 80% of the capacity will be used for exports, with the balance for China’s domestic consumption.

Koon says the cost of electricity in China was higher than that in Malaysia, but the benefit of lower raw material prices outweighed that of the power cost. Furthermore, the country offers a huge market for aluminium with demand growing at 15% a year, he said.

Meanwhile, the same The Star Online journalist, Yeow Pooi Ling, reports Energy, Water and Communications Minister Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik, who opened the Press Metal Foshan plant as part of a Malaysian ministerial delegation to China, left the delegation early to attend a crisis retail electricity tariff meeting in Kuala Lumpur.

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