Chinese demand for copper wire and cable has taken a hit as
construction of the countrys extra high voltage (EHV)
national electrical grid has ground to a halt due to
authorities failure to approve projects.
The promise of the
system in terms of copper wire demand has been high. Liu
Zhenya, general manager of State Grid Corp., had indicated in
April that China would invest more than 3 trillion yuan ($491.2
billion) to build the national grid over an eight-year period
that began in 2013.
But many in the power
supply business said that real progress on EHV, a grid that
carries an alternating current of 1,000 kilovolts or a direct
current of 800 kV, is a long way off.
project assessments should take 45 days, industry sources said,
but in fact several EHV projects are still awaiting decisions
despite being submitted for approval by authorities more than a
China Electric Power
Research Institute has submitted several proposals to the China
Development and Reform Commission for approval, but has yet to
receive feedback, CEPRI chief engineer Yin Yonghua said.
And there are several
different trends at play with demand for copper wire.
"Once construction of
National Grid and China Southern Power Grid gradually heads
into a mature phase, electricity capacity growth is expected to
slow down after the 12th (national) five-year plan," Jiang
Huajun, general manager of Far East Cable Co. Ltd., said in
late November at the second Asian High-end Cable Summit.
The consumption of
copper wire and cable by the power grid industry has also been
gradually decreasing since 2009, Jiang said. The power grid
consumed 15.1 percent of the countrys copper wire and
cable in 2012, down from 21.5 percent in 2009. The figure for
"2013 is expected to be 14.1 percent, and 2020 may show a
further fall to 7.8 percent," he added.
By 2020, demand for
copper wire and cable for use in the traffic control and
manufacturing industries will have slowed down, but the share
consumed by heavy industry, construction and telecommunications
will have risen to 34.3 percent, 24.1 percent and 26.7 percent,
respectively, according to Jiangs estimates.
With state support for new energy sources, marine
engineering, high-end equipment, electrical and information
engineering, the value of Chinas wire and cable market is
estimated to reach 808.89 billion yuan ($133.67 billion) by
version of this article was first published by AMM sister
publication Metal Bulletin.