Following outstanding results from an initial trial, Phoslock Environmental Technologies (ASX: PET) has been approved to expand its water treatment application by almost 11 times to cover the entire Xingyun Lake Watershed area in southern China.
Over the past two months, the environmental specialist has been trialling its patented Phoslock product in the heavily-polluted Xingyun Lake, which covers about 34sq km – around two-thirds of the size of Sydney Harbour.
In May, Phoslock reported a 75% reduction in phosphorus was achieved in the first four days of application.
In today’s announcement, the company said it has demonstrated to government authorities that the treatment is simple to apply with no adverse effects on fish, plant life or humans.
As a result, China’s Yuxi County Government (YCG) has approved the use of Phoslock for the entire 371sq km Xingyun Lake Watershed area, which not only includes the Xingyun Lake but also 14 rivers, inflows from the large Fuxian Lake and dozens of upstream reservoirs in the watershed basin.
Production expansion on the cards
Phoslock won the tender through its subsidiary PET Beijing, which is now working with the YCG lake catchment team and lake modelling consultants to determine the optimal application strategy.
Due to the expanded size of the project, a much larger tonnage of Phoslock will need to be applied over the course of many years.
“PET has commenced scaling up all logistic operations in southern China to meet this new demand,” the company reported.
“We are currently reviewing corporate expansion plans and alternatives to significantly increase Phoslock production,” Phoslock chairman Laurence Freedman said.
According to the company, PET is able to rapidly increase production at its Changxing factory and is examining further capacity upgrades across other locations in China.
Mr Freedman said this achievement will “now open many more doors” for the company all over the world.
Phoslock shares surged on the news and were still up 27% to $1.10 by late afternoon trade.