Suez Environnement, Europe’s second-biggest water company, and Chinese partners agreed to build an incinerator near Shanghai to treat hazardous and medical waste that will generate steam and supply energy.
Suez’s Sita Waste Services unit created a venture with Shanghai Chemical Industry Park and Nantong Economic Technology and Development Area Co. for the waste-to-energy recovery project on the Yangtze River delta that will generate about 575 million euros ($794 million) in sales over 30 years.
Sita will hold a 60 percent stake in the Nantong venture, the French utility that supplies drinking water to 97 million people, wastewater-treatment services for 66 million and collects the waste produced by 50 million worldwide, said today in a statement.
China has come under pressure from residents and environmentalists over pollution problems linked to industrial projects. Almost two years ago, authorities in Nantong scrapped plans for a pipeline to discharge waste from a paper mill into the sea after a protest by residents in Qidong, a nearby coastal city, turned violent.
The plant will have the capacity to treat 30,000 tons a year of locally-generated hazardous waste and 3,300 tons a year of medical waste, according to the statement. Energy from the waste will be captured and used to produce steam for other installations in the industrial park.
Suez and competitor Veolia Environnement SA have seen waste-treatment volumes decline as economic weakness hurts European factory output. Both companies have plans to expand in faster-growing economies such as China and provide more services for manufacturing facilities.