Investing in China – demand is growing
With a population of 1.3 billion, China is the biggest aluminium market in the world.
Demand for aluminium is growing, as infrastructure and buildings pop up at record speed. The Chinese rolling stock industry has seen very strong development both in terms of volume and technology and Sapa had revenues of about SEK 2 billion in China in 2010.
Despite continued strong growth in the building and transportation sectors, Sapa Chalco CEO, Torbjörn Sternsjö says that there are now signs that the building fury is calming down, as China feels the impact of the global economic crisis. “The government is being a little less aggressive regarding infrastructure investments, but there is still good potential,” he says. “Things were going too fast and I think it is healthy for the industry to slow down a little in order to recover, do quality reviews and so on.” He anticipates sales growth in aluminium profiles for the automotive industry. “Compared to Europe, China uses very little aluminium in cars, trailers and other vehicles, and we believe there is an opportunity for big future growth here,” he says.
Sapa established its first company in Shanghai back in 1996, with Sapa Heat Transfer Shanghai Ltd., and the operation of a new rolling aluminium plant started in 1999. Sapa Profiles entered the market in 2004. In December 2011, Sapa bought an aluminium factory in Jiangying, 150 kilometres from Shanghai. In April 2011, Sapa signed a joint-venture agreement with China’s state-owned aluminium company, Chalco.
The joint venture expands Sapa’s operations beyond Shanghai’s bustling and cosmopolitan hub to Chongqing, another major Chinese city in a municipality of 30 million people.
The People’s Republic of China
The People’s Republic of China, commonly known as China Capital: Beijing Population: 1.3 Billion (2005) Land Area: Approximately 9.6 million square kilometres