Nico Steel invests $768,000 to ramp up production facility in Suzhou, China

SINGAPORE - Nico Steel Holdings announced on Thursday morning (Jan 31) that its subsidiary Nico Steel Technology (Suzhou) Co has invested 3.83 million yuan (S$768,000) to increase production capacity and cut wastewater discharge at its electroplating facility in Suzhou, China.

The investment went to a new production line and an in-house wastewater treatment and water recycling system.

In anticipation of an increase in orders for its proprietary Nico branded metal alloys, the new production line is aimed at raising capacity by another 120 per cent to reach an optimal volume of 44 tonnes of metal alloys per month. The average daily wastewater discharge will also increase in tandem with the three production lines, although at approximately 60 per cent to 350 tonnes per day.

The in-house wastewater treatment and water recycling system is able to reduce the average wastewater discharge from 11 tonnes to 8 tonnes for every tonne of metal alloy produced. This reduction could potentially lead to cost savings of approximately 20-40 per cent from the regulated fee charged for every tonne of wastewater discharged from the electroplating production facility.

The group said that its wastewater treatment and water recycling initiative is also aligned with the Chinese government's commitment to reduce pollution in the Chinese city.

The quality of water discharged from Nico Steel Technology (Suzhou) must meet the "stringent standards" set by the local authorities for the industrial park. The aggregate amount of discharged water per day must also not exceed 500 tonnes.

These standards are closely monitored by the management of the industrial park and failure to comply could lead to an immediate production halt, or even a revocation of the operating licence, said the group.

Danny Tan, executive chairman and president of Nico Steel, said: "The group does not expect the increased production capacity to have a material impact for FY2019. There will be trial productions and a period of stabilisation before we ramp up our capacity."