BEIJING, Aug 4 (Reuters) - China Hongqiao Group,
the world's biggest aluminium producer, has left the
International Aluminium Institute (IAI) only four years after
joining the global industry body for the metal used in
everything from cars to cans.
The move means the Chinese aluminium giant has broken ranks
with a body that represented companies producing more than 60%
of the metal and its raw materials bauxite and alumina
worldwide, prior to Hongqiao's departure.
Hongqiao, which has about 6.5 million tonnes of licensed
annual aluminium smelting capacity, became an IAI member in 2016
and now employs former IAI secretary-general Ron Knapp as an
adviser to the company's chairman, Zhang Bo.
Knapp confirmed to Reuters that Hongqiao had resigned from
the IAI but declined to comment on the reasons.
"What Hongqiao is about is increasing its engagement
internationally and we are looking at a number of vehicles to
assist in realising that goal," he said.
The IAI, whose website no longer lists Hongqiao as a member,
declined to comment on Tuesday.
Its objectives include increasing the market for aluminium
by enhancing awareness of its qualities and providing a global
forum for aluminium producers on matters of common concern for
its now 26 members.
China is by far the world's biggest aluminium producing and
Hongqiao chairman Zhang previously served as vice chairman
of the IAI, which is currently chaired by Alcoa Corp
executive Ben Kahrs and has a secretariat in London.
Other members include Aluminum Corp of China, known as
Chinalco, Rio Tinto , United Company Rusal
and Norsk Hydro.
Other organisations Shandong-based Hongqiao would like to
work with include the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative, a
standards-setting body that aims to foster responsible
production and sourcing of the metal, Knapp said.
(Reporting by Tom Daly; Additional reporting by Pratima Desai
in London; Editing by David Clarke)