Hopes of aluminum sector may ride on new equipment
Advanced and environmentally friendly processing technology is the star of the show at China's largest annual aluminum industry exhibition, a three-day event that opened on Wednesday.
Since 2008, these companies have come to symbolize manufacturers that use too much energy and have too much idle capacity.
But robust demand from transportation, consumer electronics, alternative energy, machinery and construction sectors in China is drawing newcomers into the aluminum industry and forcing established producers and processors to cut their financial and environmental costs.
Ron Knapp, secretary-general of the London-based International Aluminum Institute, said at the opening ceremony of the Shanghai event that weakening global economic growth presents challenges and offers opportunities to the world's aluminum industry.
He said the event could promote healthy, sustainable development of the industry.
Tenova SpA, an industrial technology firm from Italy, brought equipment for aluminum recycling to the show. These machines are suited to recycling "dirty" scrap that is contaminated with oil, grease, paint or thermal insulation.
Georg Dambauer, sales manager of Tenova's metal division, said China is a big market for these facilities.
"Rising energy prices and rapid depletion of natural resources make the recycling of aluminum scrap increasingly attractive from an environmental point of view," he said.
Toshiba Corp brought its metal industry measuring instruments, which have been widely used in large State-owned iron and steel mills in China for years.
"Despite the difficulties of the aluminum and steel industries in China, some Chinese enterprises are still seeking higher quality and standards in their products, and they need better equipment. That's why we are here," said Atsushi Onishi, a Toshiba security and automation systems specialist.
"We have developed our technology over the decades and continuously made innovations according to the changing needs of the industry," he said.
More than 500 exhibitors from 30 countries and regions are meeting with about 16,000 professionals and buyer delegates from China and other emerging markets in Asia during the exhibition.
More than 10 forums and seminars are being staged to facilitate networking and education.