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Biodiesel Firm to List on Nasdaq
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Gushan Environmental Energy Limiteda Chinese biodiesel producer, is planning a NASDAQ listing later this year, sources said.

"We expect the company to raise about US$300 million through the initial public offering (IPO)," said Charlie Hong, chief investment director of KTB Investments. One of the largest private equity firms in South Korea, KTB invested in the Chinese company in 2005.

Another source said Gushan's net profit is expected to hit US$40 million in 2007, which will help push its market capitalization to around US$1.5 billion.

Established in 2001, Gushan uses waste cooking oil as a raw material while other biofuel makers rely mainly on agricultural crops.

The company, headquartered in Hong Kong, now has an annual production capacity of 170,000 tons, with three manufacturing facilities in Sichuan, Hebei and Fujian provinces. It is also planning factories in areas such as Shanghai and Beijing.

It was reported earlier that Gushan was seeking a US$200 million IPO in Hong Kong in 2006 because of possible changes in the regulation at the time. "We are selecting underwriters for the share sale," said Hong.

China, now the world's second-largest oil importer, has been actively promoting alternative energy, trying to reduce its dependence on foreign oil.

The nation passed its renewable energy law in 2005, which introduced incentives for alternative energy companies. It also said last year that renewable energy should account for at least 16 percent of its energy consumption by 2020.

Venture investors are seeking opportunities in the sector, following the NASDAQ-listing of Wuxi-based Suntech Power Holdings Co Ltd, one of the leading manufacturers of photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules in the world.

Biofuel makers such as Gusan are trying to tap demand as oil prices rise. US-based Becco Biofuel Ltd is planning to invest US$2 billion in Panzhihua, in Southwest China's Sichuan Province, to build a jatropha base and a plant that can churn out 400,000 million tons of biofuel each year, according to 21st Century Business Herald.

The total output of biodiesel projects under construction in the nation has passed 3 million tons, Yuan Zhenhong, a biofuel expert of the Ministry of Science and Technology, was quoted by the newspaper as saying.

(China Daily May 31, 2007)

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