Gezhouba bets big on green in­dus­tries

Tra­di­tional busi­ness sec­tors of State-owned com­pa­nies are fac­ing se­ri­ous over­ca­pac­ity

China Daily (USA) - - BUSINESS - By LIU WEI and ZHOU LI­HUA in­Wuhan Con­tact the writ­ers at li­uwei2013@ chi­nadaily.com.cn and zhouli­hua@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

China Gezhouba Group Co, a com­pany that worked on the con­struc­tion of the Three Gorges dam, is aim­ing at the waste man­age­ment sec­tor to con­tinue its growth, as over­ca­pac­ity caps most of its cur­rent busi­nesses.

Ex­ec­u­tives of the Sta­te­owned firm said tech­nolo­gies that use house­hold waste to make ce­ment and cin­ders for high­ways could be­come a cash cow for the Wuhan-based com­pany.

The com­pany spent 3 bil­lion yuan ($447 mil­lion) to ac­quire en­vi­ron­ment-re­lated busi­nesses this year and its in­vest­ment in emerg­ing in­dus­tries is set to sur­pass that in tra­di­tional in­dus­tries, ac­cord­ing to Nie Kai, chair­man and pres­i­dent of China Gezhouba.

“The en­vi­ron­ment sec­tor is set to be a crit­i­cal arm for us in the com­ing years,” said Nie.

He said the com­pany is ne­go­ti­at­ing an ac­qui­si­tion with the big­gest garbage dis­posal plant in Europe for waste man­age­ment tech­nolo­gies.

In Xiangyang, Hubei prov­ince, a ce­ment fac­tory op­er­ated by China Gezhouba’s sub­sidiary Zhongjiecaixin is pre­par­ing a large amount of garbage for re­use, us­ing ma­chines in a sealed space that rip it apart and cat­e­go­rize it.

Guo Chengzhou, gen­eral Nie Kai, man­ager of the ce­ment plant un­der China Gezhouba, said the tech­nol­ogy is the only cur­rent method that can process garbage with no ash residue and ad­di­tional pol­lu­tion.

The com­pany is ap­proach­ing gov­ern­ments in other cities, aim­ing to ap­ply the tech­nique by ac­quir­ing ce­ment plants, said Guo.

As a grow­ing num­ber of ru­ral res­i­dents en­ters cities, lo­cal gov­ern­ments are eagerly seek­ing new tech­niques to deal with grow­ing garbage, be­sides putting it in a land­fill.

Zhongjiecaixin also uses a ce­ment kiln to process ur­ban house­hold waste into al­ter­na­tive fu­els or into a sub­sti­tute raw­ma­te­rial for mak­ing high­qual­ity ce­ment.

Fac­ing the chal­lenge of over­ca­pac­ity in the ce­ment in­dus­try, the com­pany up­graded its equip­ment and tech­nol­ogy to save en­ergy and cut emis­sions. Now, it pro­duces ce­ment with bet­ter qual­ity and lower cost than its com­peti­tors.

Guo said the com­pany pro­duces 26 mil­lion met­ric tons of ce­ment a year with­out in­ven­tory, stand­ing out from the dim­ming ce­ment in­dus­try.

The com­pany is plan­ning to launch in­dus­trial parks to gather sim­i­lar en­vi­ron­men­tal tech­nolo­gies and to search for fur­ther re­search and devel­op­ment for its emerg­ing busi­nesses.

The world’s first pro­duc­tion line that re­cy­cles used tires to make rub­ber will be launched in Guang­dong this year, ac­cord­ing to Nie.

“China Gezhouba’s en­vi­ron­men­tal busi­ness is about com­bin­ing new tech­nolo­gies with their ex­ist­ing equip­ment, which is an ef­fi­cient and costre­duc­ing ap­proach. The in­dus­try still needs gov­ern­ment sup­port to grow big­ger,” said Guo Yun, a re­searcher at the cen­ter for listed com­pa­nies at the Chi­nese Academy of So­cial Sciences.

China Gezhouba now has eight busi­nesses in the en­vi­ron­ment sec­tor, in­clud­ing con­struc­tion, in­vest­ment, real es­tate, ce­ment man­u­fac­tur­ing, civil ex­plo­sives, fi­nance, equip­ment man­u­fac­tur­ing and the en­vi­ron­men­tal in­dus­try.

China Gezhouba has hy­dropower sta­tion projects in An­gola, Pakistan, Laos, In­done­sia and Ar­gentina. Mean­while, it is con­sid­er­ing sell­ing its do­mes­tic hy­dropower busi­ness.

Nie said about 20 per­cent of its in­vest­ment is over­seas. “China Gezhouba has a great rep­u­ta­tion over­seas.”

The en­vi­ron­ment sec­tor is set to be a crit­i­cal arm for us in the com­ing years.” chair­man and pres­i­dent of China Gezhouba Group Co Ltd

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