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Chinese aluminum giant eyes Vancouver headquarters

Jeremy Nuttall

By Jeremy Nuttall, 24 hours Vancouver

A major Chinese aluminum giant is interested in setting up in Vancouver, signaling possible provincial growth in the sector.

Documents obtained through a freedom of information request said a subsidiary of Zengshi Group, one of China’s largest producers of the metal, wants to establish its North American headquarters in the city.

The group oversees Xinren Aluminum Holdings, which in turn own Tianshan Aluminum. The latter is interested in opening the local office.

The FOI documents are briefing material provided to representatives of the British Columbia government. They including International Trade Minister Teresa Wat who met with company officials in China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region for a dinner during a November trip to the country.

“Tianshan Aluminum is planning to establish a headquarters to explore investment in B.C. and the dinner offers an opportunity for the minister to network with the senior management of the company,” said the documents dated Dec. 1, 2013. “Tianshan Aluminum Company would like to build up direct contact and access to B.C. government.”

Yiliu Zeng, the company’s general manager, visited B.C. in October.

Wat said Tianshin Aluminum’s plans haven’t been divulged to the government.

“While we welcome the Zengshi Group the opportunity to explore options to establish headquarters in British Columbia, it is premature to speculate on what the outcomes of those meetings will be,” Wat wrote.

A request to its parents company Xinren was acknowledged, but a formal response wasn’t returned.

Canada is currently the world’s third largest producer of primary aluminum, according to the Natural Resources Canada.

Hydro-electric power is widely used to produce the material.


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