November 22, 2019 / 5:46 AM / 15 days ago

China's recycler Chiho in JV with Thai, Japanese partners

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s Chiho Environmental Group (0976.HK), one of the largest scrap metal recycling firms in the country, will set up a joint venture (JV) in Thailand with local and Japanese counterparts, the company said in a statement on Friday.

Hidaka Yookoo Enterprises Co, the largest steel raw material manufacturer in Thailand, and Suzuki Shokai Co, a leading resources recycling company in Japan, will partner with Chiho to set up the JV, which will primarily focus in motor dismantling.

Chiho did not reveal details of the JV’s equity structure.

Plans to set up the new firm has come up following China’s tightening regulation on metal scrap imports, which accounted for around 10% of the country’s total copper consumption last year, amid the war against pollution, triggering fears of a shortage of raw materials among metal refiners.

China’s crackdown has seen a flurry of Chinese-owned recycling plants sprout up overseas, especially in Southeast Asia, with the aim of processing the material into a form that can still enter China.

“Instead of a passive wait-and-see approach to this issue, we proactively establish JV together...to jointly solve the global environmental problem...and thus respond to the environmental changes of resources,” said Tsukasa Komatani, president of Suzuki Shokai in the statement.

Beijing aims to reduce imports of solid waste to zero by end-2020.

After China’s ban on solid waste imports, the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia have sent garbage back to the countries, such as Canada and the United States, where it came from.

Reporting by Muyu Xu and Dominique Patton; Editing by Shailesh Kuber

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