* BYD has been building plant in Shanghai
* Says move into recycling motivated by environmental factors
* Chinese parliament delegates warn of rise in battery waste (Adds detail, background)
BEIJING, March 21 (Reuters) - Chinese electric vehicle maker BYD Co will open a battery recycling plant in Shanghai in the second quarter as it looks to reduce raw material costs and help to address battery waste, a spokeswoman said on Wednesday.
BYD has been quietly building the plant and will hold a grand opening ceremony in April or later in the second quarter, brand communication manager Mia Gu told Reuters in Beijing.
"The date is not yet fixed," said Gu, who was unable to provide the capacity of the plant or the amount of investment involved.
Rising costs of electric vehicle battery materials, such as lithium and cobalt, are part of the reason for BYD's move into recycling, Gu said. "But the most important driving factor is environmental protection," she added.
Delegates at the Chinese parliamentary session that ended in Beijing on Tuesday said that the first batch of EV battery waste will hit the market this year, with total battery waste expected to reach 120,000-170,000 tonnes a year by 2020.
They called on the government to provide new mechanisms to spell out the responsibilities of manufacturers and consumers, as well as more technological guidance and support. (Reporting by Tom Daly; additional reporting by David Stanway in SHANGHAI Editing by David Goodman)