On July 14, 2023, the National Development and Reform Commission released the latest “Industrial Structure Adjustment Guidance Catalog (2023, Draft)”, which is the latest adjustment after a 4-year gap following the 2019 version, and there is a large amount of this adjustment. The Industrial Structure Adjustment Guidance Catalog is a key policy document to guide the development of China’s industry, and is the first level of “barrier” to determine the landing of the industry, which is of great significance to the long-term development of China’s chemical industry.
The chemical industry is one of the important economic pillars in China, and it is also one of the industries that undergoes frequent and rapid structural adjustments. With the vigorous development of new technologies, the chemical industry has experienced great structural adjustment in the past few years, on the one hand, from the rapid growth of new energy and other consumer markets, which has driven a large increase in the production of related chemicals; and on the other hand, from the accelerated elimination of outdated production capacity and technologies, which has led to structural contradictions in some products. Under such a background, the emergence of the latest “Guidance Catalog for Industrial Structure Adjustment” is of great significance for revising the development direction of China’s chemical industry and accelerating the adaptation to the needs of the new situation.
Based on a comparison of the 2019 and 2023 editions, it was found that the new edition has a total of 1,002 entries, of which 348 are in the encouraged category, 231 in the restricted category and 423 in the eliminated category. Compared with the previous version, the total number of entries decreased by 476, with 473 entries in the encouraged category, 16 entries in the restricted category and 19 entries in the eliminated category. In the latest version, there are obvious differences for the structural adjustment of China’s chemical industry, and the adjustment of part of the chemical industry focuses on several latitudes, such as the scale of production, production mode, downstream application, and so on.
First, development of mineral resources: exploration, development and comprehensive utilization of chemical mineral resources in short supply, such as sulfur, potassium, boron, lithium and bromine, and comprehensive utilization of medium- and low-grade ores, ore-dressing tailings and associated resources of phosphorite and fluorite ores. In the latest version, it continues to encourage the development of sulfur, potassium, boron, lithium, bromine and other shortages of chemical mineral resources, including the production and application of chemicals needed in the scarce minerals, as well as technical support for the scarce mineral resources. However, the latest version cancels the development and application of technology for the comprehensive utilization of phosphate ore dressing tailings, which means that this technology is no longer in the scope of the latest encouragement.
Encouragement on the development and utilization of scarce mineral resources is the first article in this latest version, and it is also the key industry for the current structural production of the chemical industry. Scarce mineral resources have always been the main direction of China’s development, and are the key materials that support the development of China’s new energy industry, energy mining industry, and sewage treatment industry. It is also due to the lack of scarce mineral resources, resulting in very slow development in the field of inorganic compounds, subject to the monopoly of imported resources.
Second, electrically heated steam cracking technology for the production of ethylene and other products, high-performance barrier resins such as ethylene-vinyl alcohol copolymer resins, the development and production of key raw materials such as polyisobutylene, ethylene-octene copolymers, metallocene polyethylene and other specialty polyolefins and high-carbon alpha olefins, the production of aromatic ketone polymers, polyarylene ether ether nitrile, liquid crystal polymers to meet the application of 5G, and specialty engineering plastics such as electronic-grade polyimides, as well as blending modification and alloying technology development and application, the development and production of degradable polymers, and the development and production of new types of polyamides, such as long carbon chain nylons and high temperature resistance nylons.
The latest version explicitly mentions olefin production process technology, resin products and some electronic-grade new material products, but unlike the 2019 version, the latest version clarifies the functionality of the new material products, i.e., “high-performance barrier”, “specialty”, “5G application needs”, “electronic-grade”, “degradable”, etc. The latest version also clarifies the functionality of the new material products. “, “required for 5G applications”, “electronic grade”, “degradable” and so on. These so-called functional performance, so that the new material products are more specific, and there can be seen from this, about functional new material products, will be the future at least 5 years of important new material industry development direction.
Third, the development and production of 10,000-ton liquid butyl rubber, functional group-modified solubilized styrene butadiene rubber, hydrogenated nitrile butadiene rubber, high vinyl polybutadiene rubber (HVBR), integrally-bonded rubber (SIBR), butyl-amyl rubber, isoprene latex development and production, the development and application of chemical modification technology for synthetic rubbers, the development and application of wet (liquid-phase) and low-temperature continuous rubber mixing technology, the development and production of thermoplastic elastomeric materials such as thermoplastic polyester elastomers (TPEEs), hydrogenated styrene-isoprene thermoplastic elastomers (SEPSs) and other thermoplastic elastomers, and the development and application of new types of natural rubber.
In the latest version, the rubber industry has been redefined, and the 2019 version is no longer limited to a special rubber variety, or to the size of the rubber industry, but rather the need for rubber industry varieties need to be more functional, such as “functional group modification”, “hydrogenation”, “bromination” and so on. Hydrogenation”, “bromination” and so on. In addition, and canceled part of the rubber varieties, such as TPV, PTPE, bromobutyl rubber and other products, but also to the current structural changes in China’s rubber industry, the latest market embodiment.
Fourth, fluorine materials: special fluorine-containing monomers such as perfluoroolethers, high-quality fluorine resins such as polyperfluoroethylene propylene (PFPE), polyvinylidene fluoride (PVF), polychlorotrifluoroethylene (PVC) and ethylene-tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) copolymers, high-performance fluorine rubbers such as fluorinated ether rubbers, fluorosilicone rubbers, tetra-propyl fluorine rubber (TPM) and high fluorine-content fluorine rubber (HFBR), fluorine-containing lubricating grease (FGLG), substitutes for ozone depletion substances (ODSs) that have a zero ozone-depletion potential (ODP) and a low global-warming-potential (GWP), and alternatives to and substitution for PFOA, PFOS and its salts and related compounds.
Fluorine materials in the latest version have almost no change from 2019, and the scope of encouragement for new fluorine chemical materials is basically the same. From the fluorine materials industry encouraged by the state, the following points can be seen: first, the state’s encouragement for the fluorine materials industry has always insisted on the field of high-performance fluorine materials, especially in the field of fluorine materials with high technological barriers, foreign monopoly and urgent need for the development of the national industry, which is the key direction of encouragement and support. Secondly, fluorine materials for environmental protection, greenhouse effect and other areas of development requirements remain unchanged, especially the global warming potential, low ozone-depleting substances and other alternatives, such as low GWP value of blowing agents and other products, is always the type of products that the state encourages and supports.
Fifth, low-carbon environmental protection technologies: the development and application of new technologies for the efficient utilization of carbon dioxide (including carbon dioxide-methane reforming, carbon dioxide hydrogenation to make chemicals, carbon dioxide to make polycarbonate and biodegradable plastics and other polymer materials, etc.), renewable energy to make hydrogen, by-products of hydrogen to replace coal to make hydrogen and other clean utilization technologies, and the comprehensive utilization of by-products such as carbon tetrachloride, silicon tetrachloride, methyltrichlorosilane, trichloro-trimethyl-silane, trifluoro-methane and other by-products.
New low-carbon and environmentally friendly related chemical and new material products have been added to the latest version, specifically indicating that the production and manufacture of CO2 related chemicals and CO2 consuming related chemical technologies are within the scope of the State’s encouragement and support. In addition, related technologies and products regarding by-production of hydrogen and substitution of high energy-consuming hydrogen production also belong to the scope of low-carbon and environmentally-friendly products, which are clearly encouraged by the State.
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