LONDON – German technology group Heraeus will open a precious metals refinery and recycling plant in China in September to take advantage of the country's rising demand for platinum group metals.
Heraeus has invested almost $100-million in the facility in Nanjing covering 84 000 square metres, which will make precious metal-based products for use in the auto, glass, fertiliser and other industries.
The move aims to put Hereaus at the centre of a rapidly growing Chinese market and take advantage of a government drive to increase recycling and reduce pollution.
The main use of platinum and palladium is in catalytic converters used in engines to cut vehicle emissions. China is the world's biggest car market and produces only a fraction of the platinum and palladium it consumes.
"Demand is very strong in China, especially for PGMs (platinum group metals)," Heraeus Precious Metals head Andre Christl told Reuters.
"We already have some refining capacity in China. With higher demands expected, we've decided to consolidate and expand those into one big factory where we can do refining but also chemical products."
Heraeus said the plant would employ 300 to 350 people at full capacity. It also said it would ramp up logistics and financing services for clients in China.