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China Steel's aluminum unit completes second phase of its expansion project

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- China Steel Group, the largest steel maker in Taiwan, said Saturday that its aluminum-making arm has completed the second phase of an expansion project to strengthen its capacity for high-quality aluminum products manufacturing.

With the close of the program's second phase, C.S. Aluminum Corp. has finished its NT$15 billion (US$500 million) expansion plan, which is expected to help it churn out 266,000 metric tons of aluminum a year, China Steel said.

C.S. Aluminum Chairman Su Wei-jen said as with the awareness of environmental protection on the rise, many aluminum manufacturers in China and in Southeast Asia have rushed to churn out high quality products to meet growing demand.

Su said the latest investment aims to cater to customers seeking value-added aluminum products by employing high-end technology to build production facilities with the assistance of parent company China Steel.

C.S. Aluminum will now be able to cut preparation time to 30 days from 45 days before being able to kick off production, he said.

Aluminum rolled out from the new facilities will be used for production in a wide range of applications, such as automotive aluminum plates, consumer electronics and information technology products, and lithium batteries, he said.

The executive added that expanded production capacity and upgraded technology means that C.S. Aluminum is expected to lower its operating costs and cut delivery time to enhance its competitive edge.

China Steel Chairman J.C. Chou said that the second phase of the expansion project involved Kaohsiung-based C.S. Aluminum raising its workforce to almost 700 employees from 400, including about 200 new job openings for local employees in the southern city.

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