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Japan to increase aluminium consumption from 4 mn tpa to 6.5 million tpa Print E-mail
Written by Subash   
Thursday, 08 December 2011
Hyderabad: New and emerging sectors like renewable energy, electric vehicles and initiatives relating to light weighting of automobiles are driving the demand for Aluminium.

Japan, which consumes about 10 per cent of the world’s total Aluminium produced (40 million tons in 2010) every year, has laid out a roadmap to enhance Aluminium consumption to 6.5 million tons per annum (tpa) from the existing 4 million tons per annum (tpa).

During 2006, Aluminium consumption in Japan reached an all-time high of 4.5 million tons. However, owing to economic downturn and global meltdown, Aluminium consumption reduced to 4 million tons in 2010.

"The Aluminium consumption in traditional sectors has more or less remained the same. Therefore, we have a prepared a roadmap to enhance consumption of Aluminium. There are several new sectors that are driving the demand for Aluminium," said Mr. Takuki Murayama, Executive Director, Japan Aluminium Association, on the sidelines of the 6th Indian Conference on Aluminium (INCAL) in Hyderabad on Wednesday.

The Japanese Aluminium industry is betting big time on the renewable energy sector in the wake of problems relating to nuclear energy following the earthquakes earlier this year. "There is a strong emphasis now in Japan on renewable energy, particularly solar power. Aluminium will find presence on the photovoltaic cell modules, panels and frames. In the coming years, we hope to see more of Aluminium component in the renewable energy segment," added Mr. Murayama.

Similarly, electric vehicles are gaining immense popularity in Japan. These vehicles are driven by the lithium-ion batteries. "The lithium-ion batteries use high amount of Aluminium. With more and more electric vehicles coming on to the roads, the demand for Aluminium will also go up significantly," noted Mr. Murayama.

Reducing the weight of a vehicle in order to achieve better fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions are among the top priorities of the Japanese automobile industry. "Going ahead, passenger cars from Japan will become lighter and fuel efficient. We already have an all-Aluminium engine and other components. The research and development will see Aluminium being used more in the vehicles," said Mr. Murayama expressing confidence that the Japanese Aluminium industry will be on the growth trajectory.

Japan imports primary Aluminium from Australia and Brazil, and converts it into die-casting; rolled and extruded; casting and forging products for use in various applications. The consumption of Aluminium per person in Japan is one of the highest in the world at 27.6 kilograms. Approximately 92.2 per cent of the beverage cans are recycled in Japan.

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