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Metal Casting Technologies : September 2006
20 www.metals.rala.com.au industry, and the government's apparent acceptance of market forces, a recent report in Shanghai of the government's provision of extensive financial support of a foundry creating stainless steel castings for ship shafts, is an indication that the government is prepared to act when it comes to defense of perceived strategic resources, and the larger economy. Meanwhile, power to the industry continues to be based on the supply of low quality, high sulfur standard coal, which currently serves as the predominant energy source. China produces an estimated 1.8 billion tonnes per annum, much of this utilised by power stations. While the bottleneck in power supply of earlier years has been overcome, the problems of resultant air pollution caused by continued release of SO2 and other pollutants into the atmosphere and water in 2006 continued to dog the authorities. In terms of raw material supply, 2006 was not witness to the problems created by the bottleneck in 2004-2005, wherein China sucked up almost all available iron ore and scrap metal available from Australia, Brazil and elsewhere. According to some commentators, metal prices have now correspondingly dropped to the more realistic prices of those near the end of 2004. As well, earlier infrastructure problems and related bottlenecks in ports were no longer in sight in 2006, due to improvements in port infrastructure. Rail, likewise, has seen the introduction of better management and much increased speed. However, movement by truck is still expensive, due to tolls, and the implementation of load limits and rising fuel costs. Key-core machining line. Core machining machines for complimentary cores. AsianFoundryOverview