Haze is not all bad, it depends on where you’re standing.
Heavy polluters face tough measures such as hefty fines and mandatory cutdown of excess capacity. The biggest culprits, of course, are the cement, coal, steel and flat glass sectors.
On the other hand, there are also lots of companies well-positioned to harvest the clean-up demand triggered by smog.
Hebei, the province usually blamed for the haze in Beijing, plans to spend more than 420 billion yuan (US$67.3 billion) in the next few years to fight the bad air, according to China Securities Journal.
The government will provide part of the funding, but the private sector is expected to play a big role, which means fresh investment opportunities.
Production facilities of the major polluting sectors will have to be upgraded. Air quality monitoring equipment, denitrification, desulfurization and industrial dust control systems are tipped to be some of the areas that will get priority in the clean-up drive.
The province is now designing numerous supportive policies and incentives to lure and help companies in the business of energy saving and environmental protection.
Local plays like Sailhero Environmental Protection High-tech Company (300137.CN) and Longking (600388.CN) are already witnessing a pickup in orders.
In a recent trade show, global players Veolia Environment and The Dow Chemical Company are among more than 80 foreign participants.
Air quality recovery is just the first step. Water and soil are also on Hebei’s drawing board. Beijing has taken lots of initiatives to tackle the issue, including the use of more gas-fired power plants.
Other provinces are also likely to follow with their own environmental revamp projects. Liaoning and Shanxi, for instance, should be doing something about their worsening air pollution problems.
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