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Health & Environment

Opportunity glimmers through China’s toxic smog


The financial district of Pudong is seen on a hazy day in Shanghai, in this file picture taken January 21, 2013. China's government is struggling to meet pollution reduction targets and has pledged to spend over 3 trillion yuan ($494 billion) to tackle the problem, creating a growing market for companies that can help boost energy efficiency and lower emissions.

The financial district of Pudong is seen on a hazy day in Shanghai, in this file picture taken January 21, 2013. China’s government is struggling to meet pollution reduction targets and has pledged to spend over 3 trillion yuan ($494 billion) to tackle the problem, creating a growing market for companies that can help boost energy efficiency and lower emissions.

As China’s smog levels crept past record highs in early December, the phone lines at pollution-busting kit maker Broad Group lit up with Chinese customers worried about hazardous pollution levels that have gripped China this year.

China’s government is struggling to meet pollution reduction targets and has pledged to spend over 3 trillion yuan ($494 billion) to tackle the problem, creating a growing market for companies that can help boost energy efficiency and lower emissions.

“Recently, we haven’t been able to make products fast enough to keep up with demand,” said Hu Jie, a general manager at Broad Group, which makes pollution-related products ranging from hand-held monitors to eco-friendly buildings. Sales roughly doubled this year from 2012, Hu said, without giving details.

Pollution problems in China, the world’s second-biggest economy, are by no means new. But heightened public anger – and a growing political will to deal with the issue – has created opportunities for firms with sustainable know-how to earn a slice of China’s clean-technology market, which is set to triple to $555 billion by 2020, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Companies like U.S. clean-energy expert Fuel Tech Inc, design engineer WS Atkins Plc and others have seized the opening by boosting staff numbers and clinching contracts.

“China has reached a saturation level which people can no longer tolerate,” said Feng An, president and executive director of the U.S.-China Clean Tech Centre, which takes U.S. clean technology companies to China to meet potential partners.

“Five years ago people could pollute and get away with it. Now they can’t. This year you can really see the difference.”

THE COST OF SMOG

Pollution cost China’s economy at least 1.1 trillion yuan ($181 billion) in 2010, the environment ministry estimated this year – equal to 2.5 percent of GDP that year. Pollution has been tied to “cancer villages” and reduced life-expectancy. Smog even closed down the major northern city of Harbin in October.

Acknowledging public anxiety over the issue, Premier Li Keqiang said in March that China should not sacrifice the environment to pursue economic growth, giving a boost to “green” companies.

U.S. environmental engineering company LP Amina, which helps coal power plants reduce emissions by retrofitting burners to make them more efficient, saw its China sales double this year, said the firm’s marketing manager Jamyan Dudka, without providing specific figures. Coal accounts for more than two-thirds of China’s primary energy consumption.

China is pushing to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) pollutants from power plant emissions and offering subsidies to get firms on board. The cost of retrofitting all China’s power plants over a 5-year period is around $11 billion, said Dudka.

U.S.-listed Fuel Tech, which also focuses in this area, sees China at the forefront of its business development plans, and has increased its China-based staff to more than 30 people, CEO Doug Bailey said on an analyst call last month.

GREEN BUILDING

Companies such as UK-listed Atkins and Australian developer Lend Lease Corp Ltd are also leveraging their global expertise in sustainable construction.

Atkins is working with local governments to develop sustainable construction guidelines and will partner with two Chinese cities to put them into action. China’s contribution to the company’s 88 million pounds ($144.6 million) in Asia-Pacific revenues increased to 40 percent this year, it said. The region accounts for around 5 percent of global sales.

“Unlike Europe and the Americas, which have already been built out, there’s still a huge amount of development going on in China,” said Beijing-based Atkins associate Mark Hewlett.

Around 300 million Chinese are expected to move from rural to urban areas over the coming decade as the government pushes ahead with an urbanisation drive to lift domestic consumption.

Vishnu Amble, Amsterdam-based principal at private equity firm Global Cleantech Capital, said the positive trends had drawn fund managers back to China’s clean-tech market, focusing on energy efficiency, lighting, waste treatment and water.

“People have been following China’s clean-tech market lightly the past year or so,” said Amble, whose firm manages around $200 million in assets and has up to a fifth of its 2014 deal pipeline set to come from China.

“Now they’re really diving in.”

Source: Reuters – Opportunity glimmers through China’s toxic smog
 
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About chankaiyee2

Author of the book "Tiananmen's Tremendous Achievements" about how with the help of Tiananmen Protests, talented scholars with moral integrity seized power in the Party and state and brought prosperity to China. The second edition of the book will be published within a few days to mark the 25th anniversary of Tiananmen Protests All the parts in the first edition remain in the second edition with a few changes due to information available later and better understanding. There are also some changes for improvements of style. The new parts are Chapters 12-19 on events in China after the first edition was published: The fierce power struggle for succession between reformists and conservatives; Xi Jinping winning all elders’ support during his mysterious disappearance for 2 weeks in early September, 2012; and Xi Jinping Cyclone. Chan Kai Yee's new book: SPACE ERA STRATEGY: The Way China Beats The US An eye-opening book that tells the truth how the US is losing to China. The US is losing as it adopts the outdated strategy of Air-Sea Battle while China adopts the space era strategy to pursue integrated space and air capabilities: It is losing due to its diplomacy that has given rise to Russian-Chinese alliance. US outdated strategy has enabled China to catch up and surpass the US in key weapons: Hypersonic weapons (HGV) that Pentagon regards as the weapon that will dominate the world in the future. Aerospaceplane in China’s development of space-air bomber that can engage enemy anywhere in the world within an hour and destroy an entire aircraft carrier battle group within minutes. Anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons, anti-ASAT weapons, stealth aircrafts, drones, AEW&C, etc. The book gives detailed descriptions of China’s weapon development based on information mainly from Chinese sources that the author monitors closely. U.S. Must Not Be Beaten by China! China is not a democracy. Its political system cannot prevent the emergence of a despotic leader or stop such a leader when he begins to bring disasters to people. A few decades ago, Mao Zedong, the worst tyrant in world history did emerge and bring disasters to Chinese people. He wanted to fight a nuclear war to replace capitalism with communism but could not bring nuclear holocaust to world people as China was too weak and poor at that time. If a despot like Mao Zedong emerges when China has surpassed the US in military strength, world people will suffer the misery experienced by Chinese people in Mao era. China surpassing the US in GDP is not something to worry about as China has the heavy burden to satisfy its huge population, but China surpassing the US in military strength will be world people’s greatest concern if China remains an autocracy. US people are of much better quality than Chinese people. What they lack is a wise leader to adopt the correct strategy and diplomacy and the creative ways to use its resources in developing its military capabilities. I hope that with the emergence of a great leader, the US can put an end to its decline and remain number one in the world. China, US, space era strategy, air-sea battle, space-air bomber, arms race, weapon development, chan kai yee

Discussion

2 thoughts on “Opportunity glimmers through China’s toxic smog

  1. Very interesting opportunities in my opinion, especially for excellence construction companies providing cutting edge solutions for green building. It’s the future of construction industry and will deliver a great market potential for many European and US major companies.

    Like

    Posted by valeriosoldani | December 31, 2013, 7:17 pm

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  1. Pingback: Top executives refuse to work in China; slowing economy and pollution the main reasons | China Daily Mail - March 20, 2014

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