As reported last week, Vale of Brazil has just secured a big chunk of one of the world’s most-criticised new hydro dams. Now, China’s biggest aluminium producer, Chinalco, has signed a JV deal with a Malaysian tycoon in order to access electricity from another hugely-condemned dam – Bakun in Sarawak, due to start up this year.
Not that this is surprising – damnable though it may be, given the legacy of forest destruction and violation of Indigenous Peoples’ rights bequeathed by this enterprise over recent years.
Chinalco is the biggest shareholder (at around 9%) in Rio Tinto. And, more than three years ago, Rio Tinto signed a memorandum of understanding with the Malaysian government to take power from Bakun for a proposed aluminium smelting complex of its own.