RusAl May Put $3Bln Into China

United Company RusAl said Thursday that it might spend as much as $3 billion over seven years in China as it expects Asia to generate half of the company's sales.

"The Asian region should be the growth driver in the future, generating around 50 percent of our total revenue," chief executive Alexander Bulygin said in an interview with the South China Morning Post. RusAl spokeswoman Vera Kurochkina confirmed Bulygin's comments. RusAl plans to spend from $500 million to $3 billion on three new plants in China, Bulygin said.

The company, which owns two cathode plants in China, may build a foil mill and an anode plant there. Anode is the smelted product refined into cathode, a finished product that's molded into wire and rods. RusAl is also planning an aluminum smelter in China's Qinghai province with China Power Investment.

China, the world's largest producer and consumer of the lightweight metal, accounted for 35 percent of RusAl's first-half revenue, which grew 14 percent to $8 billion.

RusAl signed an agreement with China Power in February that includes the construction of a bauxite and alumina complex in Guinea. China Power will hold as much as 49 percent of the venture, which will have an annual production capacity of 2.8 million tons of alumina, RusAl said at the time. RusAl will control as much as 49 percent of the Chinese smelter, which will produce more than 500,000 tons annually.