Chinese JV between GS Yuasa and Toho Zinc to Expand Lead Alloy Output

Tianjin Toho Lead Resources Recycling, a joint venture between Toho Zinc and GS Yuasa Corporation to recycle and produce lead alloy in China, plans to increase its lead alloy ingot production to 800 tonnes per month in June 2007 from current 650 tonnes. The JV expects to collect more used batteries than before at its scrap collecting subsidiary established in June 2006. With smooth material collection, the JV will expand its lead alloy production and pioneer Chinese lead recycling market.Tianjin Toho Lead Resources Recycling is the only legal producer of secondary lead alloy in China which cleared environmental standards by Chinese environmental agency. The JV started commercial production of secondary lead alloy ingot in June 2006 to supply all products for GS Yuasa Group’s 2 subsidiaries in Tianjin. The JV collects lead battery scrap from battery plants, battery distributors and dismantlers in Tianjin City. The firm established a scrap collecting subsidiary in June 2006 for stable material procurement.However, the JV could not collect enough materials and kept low operation in the first year. Its lead alloy production was average 650 tonnes per month for January-April 2007 against originally planned 1,000 tonnes per month. The firm failed in material collection due to the upsurge of battery scrap price under severe competition with local lead alloy makers.Chinese government is currently reinforcing control over illegal lead alloy makers in the country. Tianjin Toho Lead Resources Recycling expects the market price of lead battery scrap would down due to the competitors reduction and plans to increase its lead alloy production by more than 20% to 800 tonnes per month in June.The JV aims to expand its lead alloy production to the full operation level at 1,500 tonnes per month in 2008. The firm even plans to construct a new plant to smelt lead by electrolysis after entering full operation.