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UC RusAl, the world's largest aluminum and alumina producer,
UC RusAl, the world's largest aluminum and alumina producer, said on Thursday it had bought a cathode plant in China and intends to invest over $20 million in its development.

The Baoguan plant located some 600 km (370) from Beijing was built in 2001. The plant specializes in the production of cathode blocks, which are a key component of electrolytic cells required to produce aluminum.

The plant's existing annual capacity is currently 9,300 metric tons of cathode blocks, and the company intends to boost output to 20,900 metric tons by 2010, RusAl said.

"The company's current cathode producing capacity meets about 30% of its needs, and the Baoguan project will enable RusAl to increase this figure to 60%," the aluminum giant said.

The Baoguan plant is now the second asset owed by RusAl in China following the purchase of a cathode plant with annual capacity of 15,000 metric tons in April 2006 in the Linshi district of the Shanxi province, in northern China. Products from the Chinese plants will meet the requirements of RusAl's smelters in Siberia for cathode blocks, the statement said.

UC RusAl, controlled by Oleg Deripaska's Basic Element, became the world's largest aluminum producer after a March 2007 merger between RusAl, rival Sual and Swiss Glencore's alumina assets.


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