The story appears on

Page A4

April 23, 2013

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Metro

Residents protest over battery factory plan

SONGJIANG District officials said they are still evaluating the environmental impact of a battery factory planned for the district this year after residents concerned over safety protested its construction.

Residents in more than 40 cars traversed the district on Sunday in a protest that lasted over two hours over the battery factory. Plans for the factory call for it to be one of China's biggest.

More than 10,000 residents living in the district have signed a petition against the construction, which will be sent to the local government, one of the campaign organizers said.

They started protesting after they heard the news about the new battery factory last week that the Hefei Guoxuan High-Tech Power Energy Co will build a lithium ion battery factory in Songjiang.

The factory can produce 31,500 sets of batteries worth 5 billion yuan (US$808.7 million) annually, the company said.

"This is so great. We have just salvaged thousands of dead pigs from the river, and now we can taste the pollution of a battery factory," said one resident.

The protesters said they would not give their names for fear that their comments might bring them trouble. Some said they were worried to see policemen and neighborhood committee workers busy removing the leaflets they pasted on walls to call on others to join their protest.

Their concerns mainly come from an environment evaluation issued by a government institute saying that a total of 34 residential communities, a kindergarten and three rivers were found to be within 3 kilometers of the battery factory site. The report, issued by Shanghai Research Institute of Chemical Industry in November, said the construction is viable since the factory would not cause much pollution while a public survey showed that "the residents support the project."

But the report attracted doubts from residents who firmly believe that factory is bad for their environment and their health since their homes are too close to it.

"The production of lithium ion batteries requires use of lithium cobalt oxides, aluminum and nickel, and waste gas may be produced during the process to cause heavy metal pollution to waters and soil in the area," residents said in a leaflet.

Some compared the incident with other cases, including one in 2011 in which a battery factory in the Pudong New Area was found to have caused many children nearby to have excessive levels of lead in their blood.

Meanwhile, some doubted whether the residents support the project as the report said. According to a Songjiang government website, the institute gathered comments by sending 150 questionnaires and 68 percent of those in the survey said they support the project.

"We estimated that there are over 80,000 residents living in the 34 communities near the factory, but the survey only covers 150 of them?" asked a protester.

The residents said they launched a poll using a local forum on and by yesterday, over 1,600 voted against the project and only 37 supported it.

An official with Songjiang government refused to say whether they have already decided to allow the factory. The official said they would hold a press conference soon.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend