What are the two most important factors affecting the future of China's chemical industry?


Editor's note: On September 13, at the 2018 China International Petrochemical Conference, Li Shousheng, president of the China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Federation, delivered a keynote speech entitled "Jointly Create the Next Future of the Petrochemical Industry with Consumption Upgrading and Supply-Side Structural Reform". With his consent, Interface News has excerpted some of the content for industry discussion.

Author: Li Shousheng, President of China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Federation

After 40 years of rapid development of reform and opening up, China's productivity has been greatly liberated and continuously improved, the contradiction between market supply and demand has shifted from insufficient supply to overall oversupply, people have shifted from the pursuit of consumption quantity to the pursuit of consumption quality, grade and brand, and the tide of consumption upgrading is rushing.

China's petroleum and chemical industry products can no longer fully meet the needs of people's consumption upgrading. The supply structure of the industry needs to be adjusted and upgraded to adapt to the fundamental changes in the contradiction between supply and demand, greatly improve the supply capacity and supply quality of the industry, and create a higher level and higher quality material foundation for people to enjoy a better life.

The supply-side structural reform of the petroleum and chemical industry is accelerating. Consumption upgrading and supply-side structural reform are becoming the most important factors affecting the future of China's chemical industry. They promote each other and promote each other, creating a deep change in the way the industry develops.

The impact of consumption upgrades

Consumption plays an important and fundamental role in economic growth. China is one of the world's largest consumer markets, in the first half of this year, the total retail sales of domestic consumer goods reached 18 trillion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 9.4%, and the contribution rate of final consumption to economic growth reached 78.5%, an increase of 14.2 percentage points over the same period of the previous year, becoming the main driving force of economic growth, especially consumption upgrading has become the main force leading and supporting consumption growth.
Petrochemical products are basic products, are with electronics, textile, light industry, agriculture, equipment, building materials, aerospace and other industries supporting raw materials or supporting products, people's consumption upgrading, creating a larger and higher level of petrochemical products demand, for the industry high-quality development to provide new impetus.
First of all, the 5G era is leading a new upsurge in the consumption of petrochemical products.
With the rapid development of information technology and the continuous acceleration of communication technology iteration, people's lives are increasingly inseparable from big data and Internet services. At present, society is making great strides towards the 5G era, and the commercial application of 5G communication standards is ready to go.
In the fields of energy conservation and environmental protection, smart grid, navigation and communication, smart agriculture, intelligent manufacturing, smart city, etc., 5G has a wide range of practical applications, and people have great potential for 5G consumption.
According to reports from relevant multinational research institutions, in the next five years, the overall market investment scale of China's 5G industry will exceed trillion US dollars.
The advent of the 5G era will greatly improve the construction speed and operation quality of the industrial Internet of Things, and will also accelerate the pace of upgrading personal mobile terminal equipment, which will bring a new round of development opportunities for the petroleum and chemical industries, and greatly promote the rapid growth of electronic chemicals, high-end film materials, high-end resins and other related product market consumption.
Second, high-end manufacturing has created new demand for petrochemical consumption.
High-end manufacturing is a strategic emerging industry. At present, China's high-end manufacturing industry has made great progress, and a number of high-end equipment such as new energy, aerospace, rail transit, marine engineering, engineering machinery, and CNC machine tools have made breakthroughs.
The rapid development of high-end manufacturing industry not only puts forward urgent new demand for high-end chemical products such as new chemical materials and special chemicals, but also puts forward new requirements for the upgrading of traditional chemical products such as coatings and rubber.
In particular, foreign-funded enterprises are also optimistic about the supporting capabilities brought by China's manufacturing industry upgrading, as well as the huge potential of the consumer market, BMW, Intel, Boeing, Tesla, Siemens, General Electric and other multinational giants have increased investment in China, layout high-end manufacturing industry, further increase the market demand for petrochemical products, and leverage the huge potential of petrochemical product consumption.
Third, ecological environmental protection has given a new mission for the green consumption of petrochemical products.
Green and sustainable development has always been the goal pursued by the petroleum and chemical industry. In recent years, with the continuous improvement of people's demand for a beautiful living environment, higher requirements have been put forward for the green development of the petrochemical industry. Not only the production process should be green and pollution-free, but also the whole life cycle of the product should be green and pollution-free.
For example, in the past, the quality of plastic bags, fast food boxes and other products used in our lives is not high, whether it is production or consumption, the environmental impact is great, with social progress, people's quality requirements for plastic bags, fast food boxes and other products have been greatly improved than in the past, not only vegetables, fruits, meat, eggs and other foods are green and organic, but also put forward new requirements for food packaging materials that are green and pollution-free.
The petroleum and chemical industries have the ability to change the properties of materials from the molecular structure, and have innate technical advantages and governance capabilities. Many products, technologies and equipment of the petrochemical industry are closely related to the development of environmental protection industry, and are the main contributors to providing the society with environmental pollution control solutions such as wastewater treatment, waste gas treatment, solid waste treatment and soil remediation.
In the period of economic and social transformation, green development has spawned a huge demand for environmental protection market, and the petroleum and chemical industry is facing rare opportunities, with great development potential, which can form many new consumption hotspots and new economic growth points.
The pursuit of a comfortable life is also cultivating a new driving force for the consumption of petrochemical products.
China has entered a stage of high-quality development, and people's pursuit and yearning for a comfortable life are more urgent than ever. The most obvious upgrade of comfortable life is consumption upgrading, tourism consumption, health consumption, information consumption, pension consumption, brand consumption, service consumption and a series of emerging consumption concepts and consumption patterns have been rapidly established, and people's quality of life upgrading has opened up new consumption space.
Providing comfortable, safe and green products for the whole society is an important direction and inevitable choice for the petroleum and chemical industry to achieve high-quality development in the future. At the same time, it is also necessary to provide suitable supporting raw materials for downstream industries.
From neonatal care products, to convenient and easy-to-use daily necessities for the elderly, from new energy development products and technologies, to the new needs of traditional industrial transformation and upgrading, the petroleum and chemical industry will provide a steady stream of material security and foundation for creating a comfortable living environment in the future.
In addition, the "Belt and Road" has opened up new space for the consumption of petrochemical products.
Countries along the "Belt and Road" have a large population, wide territory and abundant resources, and have comprehensive comparative advantages such as resource advantages, cost advantages and market advantages in the global petrochemical industry, and are important growth poles for the global petrochemical industry in the future. At the same time, it is also an important source of global oil and gas, natural rubber, potash and other resources and raw materials, and occupies an important position in the trade between the two sides.
The "Belt and Road" initiative has opened up greater cooperation space for the development of the global petroleum and chemical industry, promoted Chinese petrochemical enterprises to actively go abroad, improve their management level and competitiveness on the world stage, and also created win-win opportunities and important platforms for foreign companies and Chinese enterprises to seek cooperation.


Promotion of supply-side reform
With the upgrading of consumption and social development, the market for low-end products with low grade, high cost and poor efficiency in the petrochemical industry continues to shrink. Products and services with high energy consumption, large emissions and low quality are being eliminated at an accelerated pace, and high-end products, differentiated products and green products are increasingly favored by consumers.
Accelerating supply-side structural reform, increasing effective supply, and replacing and eliminating low-end and ineffective supply have become the main line of structural adjustment and upgrading of China's petroleum and chemical industries.
At present, China's new chemical materials are making breakthroughs in the direction of high-end and differentiation.
The new chemical materials industry is a strategic emerging industry, and it is also an important industry supporting high-end industries such as new energy, electronic information, aerospace, rail transit, and high-end equipment manufacturing, representing a country's industrialization level and technological innovation ability.
Through the efforts of the majority of enterprises, China's chemical new material industry has made breakthroughs in a series of important fields such as advanced polymer materials, high-performance resins, special synthetic rubbers, high-performance fibers, functional film materials, electronic chemicals, etc., and has developed high-end materials such as carbon fiber, polycarbonate, engineering plastics, isoprene rubber, aramid and other high-end materials above T800 grade, and the domestic supply capacity has been continuously improved.
A few products such as MDI have also reached the international advanced level, and scientific and technological innovation in cutting-edge fields such as graphene, nanomaterials, 3D printing materials, and advanced membrane materials is in the ascendant, and a number of innovative new chemical material enterprises and scientific research institutions have emerged.
At the same time, petrochemical enterprises pay more attention to differentiated development, many new chemical materials have achieved serialization and stability, food-grade, pharmaceutical grade, cosmetics-grade products have increased, and the competitiveness and sustainable development ability of enterprises have been significantly enhanced.
For modern coal chemical industry, it is innovating in both ends and in the direction of greening.
In the process of global raw material diversification, China's modern coal chemical industry has accelerated its progress, overcome a large number of core key technical problems such as large-scale advanced coal gasification, syngas transformation, large-scale coal-to-methanol, coal-to-liquids (direct and indirect methods), coal-to-olefins, etc., and realized the industrialization of key technical equipment through the smooth implementation of demonstration projects.
On the basis of engineering demonstration, China's modern coal chemical technology innovation has been further deepened, among which a number of revolutionary technologies such as coal direct production olefin technology, coal direct production aromatics technology, kerosene mixing technology are in the stage of trial and promotion, and the industrialization process is accelerating.
On the other hand, the high-end development trend of modern coal chemical industry is obvious, and the products continue to extend to the downstream of the industrial chain, producing high value-added fine chemical products and special chemicals such as poly α-olefins and lubricating base oils.
In addition, the traditional chemical industry is creating new ways of unconventional development.
The traditional chemical industry is the backbone of China's petrochemical industry, and traditional industries such as oil refining, nitrogen fertilizer, phosphate fertilizer, calcium carbide, chlor-alkali, soda ash, and pesticides occupy a large proportion of the whole industry, which is of great significance to meet the needs of the national economy.
The traditional development model of high input, high consumption, high emissions and low efficiency that traditional industries have long relied on is no longer sustainable, and to promote supply-side structural reform, it is important to realize the transformation of new and old kinetic energy and high-quality development of traditional industries.
After several years of adjustment, especially after the State Council issued the "Guiding Opinions on Adjusting the Structure of Petrochemical Industry to Promote Transformation and Increase Efficiency", chemical enterprises have actively promoted supply-side structural reform, the industrial chain has continued to extend to the high-end, the contradiction of overcapacity has been significantly alleviated, and the development trend of high-end, differentiated and green has been continuously improved and consolidated.





Consumption, Product, High-end, Development, Upgrading, Petrochemical, Industry, Supply, Green