Russian aluminium producer United Company Rusal International (Rusal) has agreed to acquire a 30% stake in Chinese alumina producer Hebei Wenfeng New Materials (HWNM) in a deal worth 1.91bn yuan ($261.6m).

HWNM owns and operates an alumina refinery located in the Chinese province of Hebei, Caofeidian district.

The refinery was commissioned in March 2022 and has a nameplate annual capacity of 4.8 million tonnes of metallurgical grade calcined alumina.

The alumina refinery is claimed to feature modern technology for processing raw materials, advanced consumption indicators and a high degree of automation.

In a press statement, Rusal said: “In accordance with the agreement, Rusal and Hebei Wenfeng New Materials will divide the alumina produced in proportion to their respective equity interests.

“Rusal will be able to gain access to alumina at a competitive cost and secure its key raw material supply.”

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By GlobalData

The Russian company said the deal will allow it to source sustainable alumina, facilitating enough supply of raw material for its production facilities.

The transaction is subject to approvals from Chinese authorities and consent from HWNM’s creditors, reported Reuters.

Following Australia’s ban on the export of alumina and aluminium ores in March 2022, Russia chose China as an alternative source for alumina. The ban comes in response to the Western-led sanctions against Russia due to its invasion of Ukraine.

Earlier this year, Rusal announced plans to build an alumina production facility with a $4.8bn investment to help reduce raw materials imports.

The proposed project will include four technological lines for alumina production, as well as port infrastructure in Russia’s Baltic Sea port of Ust-Luga.