China is in the midst of a breakneck expansion of its copper industry that’s reshaping global flows of the essential metal for the world’s energy transition.

The Asian nation’s grip on the supply of other green metals like lithium, cobalt and nickel, used in electric vehicle batteries, has already prompted worried Western governments to encourage separate supply chains. Meanwhile, China’s production of refined copper — and its share of world output — is heading for a record this year after a burst in construction of new smelters.

The rapid ramp-up in capacity brings a fresh dynamic to a market that for 20 years has been driven in large part by how much buyers in China are willing to pay. The country will still import growing amounts of copper, but more as an ore rather than refined metal.