Talking About The High Quality Development Of Chloralkali In The Industry

- May 29, 2018 -

The chlor-alkali industry is an important basic industry and supporting industry for the national economy. In 2017, the chlor-alkali industry encountered a good year that had not been met for many years. The output of caustic soda and polyvinyl chloride increased by more than 5% year-on-year. The main business income increased at the same time, and the benefits increased significantly. . Especially for the entire industry, the total profit in 2017 was 2.5 times that of 2016 in the four consecutive years of losses from 2012 to 2015.


In the first quarter of this year, the production and price of chlor-alkali industry products were generally good. The output of caustic soda was 8.59 million tons, which was a year-on-year increase of 0.3%, of which the ionizing membrane base was increased by 2.3%; the output of polyvinyl chloride was 4.733 million tons, an increase of 4.2%; The price was 4,880 yuan/ton, up by 47.4% year-on-year; the average price of liquid caustic soda was 1,060 yuan/ton, up by 11.6%; the average price of polyvinyl chloride was 6,750 yuan/ton, a year-on-year decrease of 7.5%. Overall, the industry situation is still good.


Then, what aspects should be focused on the high-quality development of the chlor-alkali industry?


The first is structural reform on the supply side. As with the petrochemical industry, the contradiction in the unbalanced development of the chlor-alkali industry is mainly manifested in the prominent structural contradictions. For example, the problem of overcapacity has always existed. The chlor-alkali industry has achieved significant results in removing capacity for three consecutive years. However, from the view of capacity utilization, overcapacity still exists. Last year, the industry's capacity utilization rate was 82%, while PVC was only 74.4%. What is even more worrying is that last year, the industry’s profits have increased substantially and prices have continued to be high, causing the impulse to expand and build new projects. For another example, the contradiction between the balance of chlorine and alkali has always existed, and it has become increasingly serious in the past two years. In addition, the structural contradiction of the PVC product chain has always existed. Last year, the output of PVC was 17.9 million tons, an increase of 5.9% year-on-year; the export was 1.1 million tons, a decrease of 6%; the import was 1 million tons, an increase of 15.6%. Export 1.1 million tons, foreign exchange earnings 990 million US dollars, imports 1 million tons, US $ 1.05 billion, the average export price of 900 US dollars / ton, the average price of imports 1053 US dollars / ton, in terms of RMB is a difference of more than 1,000 yuan per ton. This has once again proved that the supply-side structural reform in the chlor-alkali industry should continue to exert its force.


The second is green development. Green development is one of the "five new development concepts" and is also one of the two major development strategies for the "13th Five-Year Plan" of the petrochemical industry. The petrochemical federation has put forward the “green development action plan for the petrochemical industry” and studied and formulated the “six major special action plans”. In addition, the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology also issued the Guiding Opinions on the Green Development of the Petrochemical Industry. All these have put forward new and higher requirements for the green development and sustainable development of the chlor-alkali industry.


The green development of the chlor-alkali industry has the challenges of waste water, solid waste, and waste gas. The biggest challenge is energy conservation and emission reduction. The most serious challenge is the mercury catalyst problem of vinyl chloride monomer synthesis. Energy-saving and emission-reduction have always been highly valued by the chlor-alkali industry, and continuous and gratifying progress has been made in this area. Mercury pollution is a problem that the chlor-alkali industry has been trying to solve and yet to solve, which determines the survival of the PVC industry. Therefore, green development is of vital importance to the chlor-alkali industry.


The third is innovation and development. Innovation ranks first in the "Five New Development Concepts" and is also one of the two major development strategies in the "13th Five-Year Plan" of the petrochemical industry. Innovation is the key factor in accelerating the transformation of development methods, promoting green development, and achieving excellence. The chlor-alkali industry has some aspects such as process optimization, smart factories, high-end product differentiation, comprehensive treatment and recycling of “three wastes” in terms of innovation and development, but the most important is the localization of ion-exchange membranes for electrolytic cells, and the most urgent is the use of vinyl chloride. Mercury-free catalysts for monomer synthesis.


Electrolyzers used ion membranes to organize national scientific and technological breakthroughs early on, but they have never achieved localization. It is gratifying that Dongyue Group has made breakthroughs in this area. The next step is to increase the stability and performance level of the membrane while increasing the application of industrialization. In the field of innovative research and development of mercury-free processes for the synthesis of vinyl chloride monomers, Texas Shihua has made major breakthroughs, but this process has its limitations in the overall promotion of polyvinyl chloride by calcium carbide process. Mercury-free catalysts have now become a hot issue for the global chlor-alkali industry. Many units at home and abroad are researching and developing, and the key is economic and industrial application.

 In the process of producing various kinds of pharmaceutical intermediates, we strive for economy and efficiency, adhering to the requirements of conservation and environmental protection. Although domestic raw material prices have risen in price, we have also continuously improved the process, especially Meldurm’s acid, to ensure our Meldrum’s acid prices have a good international competitiveness.

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