China’s biggest lead producer Henan Yuguang Gold and Lead eyeing battery production

In a strategic move Henan Yuguang Gold and Lead is studying plans on setting up a lead-acid battery production line as part of a downstream expansion.

Company officials from Henan Yuguang Gold and Lead, China’s largest lead producer stated, the company plans on setting up a lead-acid battery production line as part of a downstream expansion.

Since the plans are still being studied, Yuguang has yet to decide on capacity or location of the plant, said the company’s deputy chief engineer Li Gui on the sidelines of the China Lead and Zinc Conference in Kunming.

The development assumes significance since it will allow Yuguang to tap the potentially huge demand for rechargeable lead-acid batteries from China’s automotive market, including for electric vehicles, where lead batteries are competing for market share with lithium-ion batteries.

Although Yuguang has yet to produce batteries, the company however has 160,000 tonnes of lead recycling capacity which can process spent batteries. According to Li, this capacity will be upgraded by April or May 2020.

Yuguang also plans on setting up 67 lead-acid battery collection and storage stations in six Chinese provinces, including Shanxi, Henan, and Shaanxi, to form a social recycling network, said Li in a presentation in the conference.

Of the 67, nearly 10 are already operational.

“We want to gradually form a perfect secondary recycling usage industrial chain,” said Li.

In January 2019, China’s environment ministry had said it aimed to raise the collection rate of lead-acid batteries for recycling to 70% by 2025, up from estimate below 30% in 2017.

In a statement, the ministry had stated, preferential tax policies would be offered to firms that produce recycled lead from waste batteries.

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