Battery recycling “Black River Lake”

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Editor’s Note: This article is from the WeChat public account “Economic Observer” (ID: eeo-com-cn), author Zhou Ju, 36 氪 authorized to release.The “ice and fire” of different participants in the same market reflects the operational strangeness of “bad money expelling good money” in the battery recycling market.Three years ago, he slammed the “window” and invested in tens of millions of Chen Liang (a pseudonym) who set up a battery recycling company. Recently, he has had some problems.I don’t know why, he and his peers expected the battery recycling “small peak” did not arrive as expected.“It’s not completely without growth, but the (growth) speed is far less than expected.” Chen Liang said that the company just started operations last year, with an annual recycling volume of more than 100 tons, which is expected to exceed 1,000 tons this year.Based on previous optimistic forecasts for the market, the company’s production capacity has increased to 12,000 tons.Under such circumstances, Chen Liang’s company is in a state of being difficult to return.Previously, the industry’s forecast is that since the power battery has only 3-5 years of life, with the first batch of new energy vehicle batteries vigorously promoted in 2016, the lithium battery scrapping volume will usher in a “small peak” in 2018.– The amount of scrapped goods exceeded 170,000 tons, the market size exceeded 5.3 billion yuan, and by 2020, these two figures will reach 200,000 tons and 10.1 billion yuan respectively.In the tens of billions of market big cakes, but did not taste the sweetness, like Chen Liang, the regular battery recycling enterprises that feel a huge psychological gap in the battery recycling market are not rare.Gao Weiqiao, deputy general manager of Zhejiang Huayou Cycle Technology Co., Ltd. told the Economic Observer that the company’s power battery recovery last year was only about 1,000 tons, and did not wait for the so-called “small peak”, which made it very doubtful.”Where did the retired battery go?”In stark contrast, some of the “small workshop” businesses that recycle batteries are in full swing.The Economic Observer reported that as long as the word “power battery + recycling” is entered on the search platform, thousands of high-priced home-recovery messages will be displayed.The reporter called one of the “recycling companies” in Beijing for consultation. The person in charge, Wang, reported a high price of 15,000 yuan/ton for the ternary lithium battery, which is about 50% higher than the recycling market price of the formal enterprises.For the time of the door, it means that due to busy business, it needs to be scheduled after two days.The “ice and fire” of different participants in the same market reflects the operational strangeness of “bad money expelling good money” in the battery recycling market.”At least half of the batteries that have been scrapped have flowed into the black market and have been illegally dismantled.” Zhao Xiaoyong, general manager of Beijing Saidemei Resources Reuse Research Institute Co., Ltd. said.Gao Weiqiao told reporters that the ratio may be even higher, reaching 70%.This not only disrupts market competition, but more seriously it will bring irreversible pollution and damage to the social environment.In response to the above-mentioned “black and white” food rush, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and other competent departments have previously issued a number of policies in order to achieve standardization of the battery recycling industry through battery life cycle management and traceability.On September 10, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology solicited opinions on the “Guidelines for the Construction and Operation of New Energy Vehicle Power Battery Recycling Service Network”, pointing out that enterprises such as new energy vehicle production and ladder utilization should establish recycling service outlets and strengthen the use of used batteries in accordance with relevant national management requirements.Tracking is expected to improve the industry chaos in battery recycling.In addition, Mei Songlin, a senior analyst in the automotive industry, said that another reason why battery recycling companies have not clearly felt the warmth of the market may be that the country started battery recovery pilots in Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shanghai, Hunan and other regions last year.There are more and more companies in the battery recycling industry, including new energy vehicles, battery suppliers, independent battery recycling companies, etc., which has led to the diversion of recycling battery channels.In this kind of melee situation, the battery recycling companies may also face shuffling.Summer in the black market?New energy vehicles are new things that have developed in recent years. Since the country began to promote it in 2015, sales have grown rapidly. Therefore, there is no perfect legal system for the recovery of power batteries for new energy vehicles.This has created conditions for intervention in the field of power battery recycling for “small workshops” that engage in waste recycling.The data shows that in 2016, China’s new energy vehicle sales were 320,000 vehicles. The industry expects at least 100,000 vehicle batteries to flow into the black market and be illegally dismantled.According to industry sources, “small workshops” generally have several treatment methods after recycling batteries.Among them, the most common is to disassemble the battery and extract precious metals such as cobalt and lithium for sale.Data show that the highest price of non-renewable cobalt metal reached more than 600,000 tons per ton.When the Economic Observer reported to the above-mentioned Beijing “recycling company” Wang about the use of recycled batteries, he bluntly said: “We took it back and dismantled and refined the precious metals for sale.” In addition to the dismantling of the battery, the industry revealed thatThese “small workshops” will sell them to low-speed electric vehicles, electric bicycles and other countries that do not advocate the use of the ladders, which will cause great danger to the latter’s driving safety.However, some insiders have said that because the small workshops are not legal, and as the operation of low-speed electric vehicles becomes more and more standardized, the operation of such ladders is relatively small.In the case of half of the scrapped batteries flowing to the black market, even some regular recycling companies had to cooperate with black market vendors to buy batteries from the latter to maintain the operation of the factory machines and improve their business.This has undoubtedly contributed to the recovery of the black market boom, while pushing up the purchase price, but also increased the difficulty of formal recycling companies.The reason why these “small workshops” can successfully recycle batteries and rush with regular large enterprises is mainly because of their lower cost, which can greatly increase the price when recycling.The Economic Observer reported from the above-mentioned person in charge of the recycling company in Beijing that the price of its ternary lithium battery was 15,000 yuan/ton, even if the price of lithium iron phosphate battery with less precious metal content and lower value was as high as 12,000 yuan/ton..The cost of battery recycling enterprises given by many brokers shows that the price of formal enterprises is about 10,000 yuan / ton, or even lower.However, because there is no professional equipment for battery recycling and battery disassembly, and the power battery contains a lot of harmful components, “small workshop” type battery recycling will bring great risks to social security and the environment.According to industry sources, in order to save costs, “small workshops” usually use the original method of manual dismantling, which not only damages the health of employees, but also risks the explosion.On the other hand, after the extraction of the precious metal from the positive and negative electrodes of the battery, the “small workshop” has no treatment capacity for the discarded electrolyte diaphragm and waste liquid, but is treated by illegal burial or dumping.Infiltration and rain wash, the soil and water quality of the other side will cause irreversible pollution.Earlier, Jiangsu and Shanxi have cracked several environmental violations that illegally dumped waste batteries of lead-acid batteries.When the reporter asked Wang if his company had the qualification for battery recycling and dismantling, Wang squandered the word “有有” after a few seconds.However, neither the Ministry of Industry and the local whitelist have seen the company.In order to standardize the battery recycling operation, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology released the first batch of enterprises in September last year that met the “Standard Conditions for the Comprehensive Utilization of Waste Energy and Battery for New Energy Vehicles”. A total of five car companies were selected, namely Guangdong Guanghua Technology Co., Ltd. and JingmenCity Green Meixin Materials Co., Ltd., Hunan Bangpu Cycle Technology Co., Ltd., Zhangzhou Huayou Cobalt New Materials Co., Ltd., Zhangzhou Haopeng Technology Co., Ltd.Some insiders said that some enterprises that have passed the local government environmental assessment certification can also enter the battery power recycling industry.The profitable problem of legal recycling The black market channel diversion will greatly reduce the profit time of regular battery recycling companies.Chen Liang told reporters that according to the company’s plan, the company can achieve the expected profit when the annual recycling volume reaches or is less than 12,000 tons, equivalent to 6,000 pure electric buses of 6 meters or more, or 3-5 million pure electric passenger cars.The number of batteries.However, from its current annual recovery of less than 1,000 tons, it is far from the expected target.In fact, almost all battery recycling companies are facing profit problems due to factors such as the difficulty in increasing the scale of recycling.Another factor affecting the profitability of battery recycling companies is that the retracement of ternary lithium batteries with higher recovery value is less, because most of the new energy vehicles were equipped with lithium iron phosphate batteries three years ago, but the latter has less precious metal content.The value is low.A battery recycling practitioner told the Economic Observer that the value of recycling of ternary lithium batteries is about 7-8 times that of lithium iron phosphate batteries.Zhao Xiaoyong told the Economic Observer that Sai Demei has accounted for the vast majority of the scrapped batteries received by the company. Only a test vehicle that was directly scrapped from the vehicle end can recover a small amount of ternary lithium.battery.In addition, as policy incentives lead to a surge in participants, competition among battery recycling companies is becoming more intense.At the same time that the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced the “white list” of the first batch of battery recycling companies, the number of companies engaged in power battery recycling has continued to increase through local government environmental assessment. In Guangdong, for example, 45 companies were listed in the battery recycling industry in Guangdong last November.”whitelist”.However, as a whole, the main players involved in battery recycling are very complicated, ranging from automobile and battery manufacturers to independent recycling companies.In March last year, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the Ministry of Science and Technology and other seven ministries and commissions issued a notice on the “Interim Measures for the Management of Recycling and Utilization of Power Battery for New Energy Vehicles”, proposing who is responsible for the production, who is responsible for pollution, and clarifying that automobile manufacturers will undertake the recovery of power batteries.Subject responsibility.According to data released by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, at present, automobile manufacturing enterprises have built 4,145 recycling service outlets, but these outlets cannot handle the dismantling of batteries.According to the “Guidelines for the Construction and Operation of New Energy Vehicle Power Battery Recycling Service Network”, which was solicited by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology on September 10, the battery recycling service network shall not disassemble the collected used power battery without authorization, but shall hand it over to the comprehensive utilization enterprise.The use or recycling of the ladders, to a large extent, guarantees the recycling volume and business operation of the battery recycling enterprises.At the same time, this also promotes the cooperation between car companies and independent battery recycling companies.The Economic Observer reported that at present, BYD, SAIC-GM, and Beiqi New Energy have signed contracts with Grenmei and other battery recycling companies to build a new energy vehicle power battery recycling system.Zhao Xiaoyong said that currently Saidemei recycling batteries are mainly from B-end customers such as car companies, electronics factories and transportation operators.Even Volkswagen intends to build a battery recycling plant, although the factory is located in Germany rather than domestic, which makes the competitors quite nervous.In the process of the volume, the crisis of industry shuffling shrouded every enterprise that wants to “out the line” in the power battery recycling market.The good news is that the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology recently responded to the recommendations on the recycling of used power batteries, saying that it will implement battery recycling tax incentives and reduce recycling costs. The news is believed to promote the development of the power battery recycling market.However, some enterprises do not have much confidence in this. They believe that the legislation and landing of fiscal and taxation policies may take several years, and the tax incentives are not as effective as subsidies. The short-term improvement of the profitability of battery recycling enterprises is limited.There are also experts in the industry who have put forward suggestions on the way of preferential treatment. “It is better to directly return part of it to the seller of the battery, rather than the tax on the recycling company, so that the small workshop is naturally marginalized.”Analyst Mei Songlin said..