Press Metal Aluminium Holding’s top management is confident that global aluminium prices will continue to upsurge driven by the rising demand for the metal as global economic recovery gains momentum.
The group’s CEO Tan Sri Koon Poh Keong said the global aluminium supply will be under pressure due to decarbonisation and environmental restrictions, according to local media reports. Koon added that the completion of Press Metal’s Phase 3 which is aimed at capacity expansion in Samalaju Industrial Park, Bintulu is timely considering the ascent in the global aluminium prices to $2,400/mt level. This new smelter boosts the group’s smelter capacity to 1.08mn mt from 760,000mt, up by 42pc, annually. The new phase will be fully operational by the third quarter of 2021.
Koon added that the smelters in Bintulu and Mukah will be able to source alumina and carbon anode internally till the end of this year. The company holds stakes in Australian and Indonesian alumina producers and Shandong’s carbon anode production.
Press Metal has invested $80.2mn for a 25pc share in PT Bintan Alumina Indonesia, which is constructing an alumina refinery. The investment in PT Bintan will ensure a long-term supply of alumina. Press Metal is liable to purchase not less than 50pc of alumina produced by PT Bintan and up to 1.5mn mt after refinery construction is completed. PT Bintan has commenced production of its Phase 1 refinery with 1mn mt annual capacity. Press Metal expects the first shipment of alumina from the plant next month.
In early 2019, Press Metal acquired 50pc of equity interest in Japan Alumina Associates, Australia (JAA). JAA has a 10pc interest in Worsley Alumina Unincorporated Joint Venture. Through this investment, Press Metal will get 230,000mt of alumina annually.
Press Metal, via a tie-up with Sunstone Development Co Ltd, set up Shandong Sunstone & PMB Carbon Ltd Co to manufacture pre-baked carbon anode, a primary consumable for the group’s smelting operations.
Koon added that Press Metal has recently committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2050 across all subsidiaries and operations.