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ISLC Report 5 The status quo and problems of lead recycling in China – Leoch Battery Pte Ltd

2019.09.24 10:53

It is impossible to discuss the global demand of lead without paying attention to the existence of China. In this ISLC Report 5, we would like to introduce some words on the status quo of the Chinese lead industry and its recycling, from Mr.Dong Li, who is the CEO of Leoch Battery Pte Ltd.

 

photoMr. Li is the CEO of Leoch International Ltd, which was established in 1999. Since then, he has developed this Shenzhen-based company into one of the biggest manufacture and suppliers of lead-acid batteries for the telecommunications field. He also started and owns Marshell Electric Vehicle Ltd and Marxon Electronics Ltd, specialising in new energy technologies and high quality batteries. Mr. Li has established more than 50 companies all over the world, employing more than 15,000 people, with an annual profit of nearly a billion US dollars.

 

 

Lead Recycling in China

The background of the lead recycling industry in China, lead consumption, its global market, the recent trend of the secondary lead market, its opportunity and forecast will be quickly explained in this presentation. The market investment for the secondary lead industry and the latest environmental policy and law will be analysed and a survey of Chinese secondary lead company rankings will be also included.

 

According to Mr. Li, “The capacity of lead recycling in China has been getting bigger. Considering plants currently under construction, it is easily expected that in China the supply of secondary lead will be substantially increasing.”

 

 

Current negative lead consumption in China

However, currently the lead consumption in China is experiencing negative growth, mainly due to a change in the standard of E-BIKE.

 

Due to this E-BIKE regulation, 45,000 tonne lead batteries were replaced by Lithium-Ion Batteries (LIB).  This quantity of lead batteries is equivalent to that used in 31 cities and provinces plus 120,000 base stations (for communication purposes). In China in 2019, they are still transitioning to LIB, and Mr. Li estimates that 150,000 more lead batteries would be replaced by LIB this year.

 

 

What’s the effect of the U.S.-China Trade War?

There is little effect of the U.S.-China trade war to the lead battery industry.

At the same time, we can see lead batteries produced in other countries, not only in China. These include Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Malaysia and India. Especially in Vietnam, there has been remarkable progress by Chinese lead batteries manufacture.

 

 

What’s the biggest lead battery recycling company in China?

Jiangsu New Chunxing Resource Recycling Co. Ltd is the biggest one and it has a history of over 40 years of processing Used Lead Acid Batteries (ULAB). Its current ULAB processing capacity is 1 Million metric tons per year and the capacity of producing secondary lead is 0.6 Million metric tons per year.

 

New Chunxing is National “Urban Mining” Exemplary Base, National Torch Programme Industrial Base, National Authorised Enterprise Technological Centre and National Appraised High-Tech Enterprise.

 

 

photo

 

 

Within China, there are numerous lead resources in Inner Mongolia. However, in this area recycling has not progressed well. Areas close to Beijing have strict environmental regulations and therefore it appears many recycling companies have had to shut down their plants.

 

Hunan is a strong area for primary lead and is regarded as a hub of lead, tin and indium.

 

Hubei area has an established route for the collection of lead batteries.

 

A big underground market also poses a problem for lead battery recycling in China. Currently the Chinese government is building an ideal recycling city in Anhui area.

 

Jiangsu is an advanced area regarding lead recycling, already having a No.1 recycling company.

 

The Chinese government is issuing operation permissions one after another. There is a large number of plants being built right now.

 

Although, in accordance with Government permission, the processing capacity of ULAB is up to 9 million tons, it appears that the actual processing is just 2.39 million tons.

 

Mr. Li said, “That’s why a collection channel is important.” He also said that stable processing, production and shipments are the challenges China has to solve.

 

There was a question from the audience in the conference.

“Why do Chinese recycling companies invest overseas?”

 

Mr. Li’s answer was as follows; “China is not allowed to import ULAB and therefore they go overseas to areas where ULAB is expected to appear. This includes India and Africa.”

 

 

(Original Japanese article is by IRUNIVERSE YT&YO)

(Translation by Ayako Crnokrak)

 

 

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