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Synthetic rubber: Farewell golden period into the new normal

2016/5/28      view:
The world's synthetic rubber industry began in the 1930s. In 1962, the world's first synthetic rubber consumption exceeds natural rubber, and has remained ever since. Synthetic rubber called the cornerstone of world traffic, initially as a substitute for natural rubber, which has become all the essential raw materials of high performance tires. Sealing, insulation and other fields also plays an irreplaceable role, whether it is high-temperature high-pressure washer rubber seal, or a golf ball core or belt, conveyor belts and other products, require the use of synthetic rubber.
November 14, 1958, the first set of Chongqing Changshou Chemical chloroprene rubber plant put into operation, the Chinese began the industrial production of synthetic rubber history. Through the introduction of technology, independent research and development, etc., in the last century of the full realization of SBR, butadiene, butyl acetate, propylene, butadiene, chloroprene, SBCS (styrenic polymer), seven varieties of synthetic rubber industrial production in 2010, but also realize isoprene rubber industry. China Synthetic Rubber Industry after 57 years of development, products from scratch, from small to large, has developed into a wide range of variety, complete product system an important industry, the current installed capacity, annual production and consumption volume ranking World number one.
Beginning: tough independent R & D
Scientific Research of synthetic rubber began in the early 1950s, while industrial production from the late 1950s and early 1960s. 1958 in Chongqing Changshou built 2,000 tons / year and chloroprene rubber plant in Lanzhou from 1960 to 1962 were built by the former Soviet Union built 13,500 tons / year styrene-butadiene rubber, 1,500 tons / year nitrile rubber production plant, marking China has entered the start-up period synthetic rubber industry.
The early 1950s to the early 1980s, is a comprehensive scientific and technological research of China's synthetic rubber industry and self-development. In 1951, former Northeast Academy (formerly Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry of the Chinese Academy of Sciences) first synthesized in the laboratory of the calcium carbide acetylene as the raw material of neoprene. In 1956 he moved to Chongqing Changshou test apparatus, and converted into a new device to produce 1 ton. Over the same period, the test apparatus SBR moved Lanzhou and converted into raw materials for ethanol method butadiene whole process of expanding the pilot plant, the Thiokol moved Jinxi Chemical Plant. These three sets of test equipment for the three kinds of synthetic rubber made industrial technology to explore and experience reserves.
From the early 1960s, early 1980s, in the prevailing conditions of the international environment, China's introduction of technology can not be normal trade only set the main national science and technology, the main varieties of synthetic rubber production technology and comprehensive scientific and technological battle, seek independent development of China's synthetic rubber industry, by the party and state leaders attach great importance. Among them, butadiene rubber is an independent research Battle of the successful development of representative species, Yanshan Petrochemical synthetic rubber plant built China's first set of 15,000 tons / year industrial production equipment. As technology improved and enhanced, butadiene rubber has been the development of the domestic consumption of my biggest types of plastic. Research and development work of styrene-butadiene rubber, ethylene propylene rubber, butyl rubber and isoprene rubber and other types of plastic are also made varying degrees of progress.
Yuejin: rapid increase of production capacity, technological progress
In promoting the reform and opening up, after the 1980s, China's introduction of foreign advanced technology and equipment to speed up the pace significantly. The introduction of technology and the development of a combination of domestic, Chinese synthetic rubber industry entered a rapid growth phase, ushered in a period of great development. Especially after the auto industry has been established as a pillar industry, requires a lot of tire supporting a huge demand for synthetic rubber for the development of industry has brought tremendous momentum.
"Eleventh Five" late, synthetic rubber production and demand booming industry ushered in a "golden age", profits attract more enterprises to invest in the synthetic rubber industry ownership, foreign and Taiwan-funded, private enterprises began to enter the march. "Twelve Five" initially, but also ushered in capacity growth spurt, the main varieties of synthetic rubber production, production capacity ranks first in the world in 2010 and 2011, the total capacity of more than 2012 means the total domestic consumption. In 2010 to 2014, five years before the plant capacity increase of more than 50 years, the total size of the country's development of synthetic rubber. Deputy Secretary General of China Synthetic Rubber Industry Association, Zhou Wenrong with the "explosive" to describe a few years ago the development of domestic production of synthetic rubber.
According to China Synthetic Rubber Industry Association statistics, the major domestic synthetic rubber plant production capacity from 93,000 tons in 1978/2005 annual upgrade to 133 million tons / year in 2010 rose to 2.82 million tons / year, with production capacity 149 tons / year, with an average annual growth rate of 15.6%, while in 2014 it expanded to 5.18 million tons / year.
Domestic large-scale industrial production of synthetic varieties expanded from four kinds 1978 to 8 species added SBS, EPDM and butyl rubber, isoprene rubber and other basic varieties. Various other types of plastic production has increased significantly, the domestic synthetic rubber product structure more reasonable. Early independent development of chloroprene rubber, butadiene rubber production technology in plant size, product brands, energy and material consumption, etc. have made great technological progress.
China has independently completed the styrene-butadiene thermoplastic elastomer (SBS) development of industrial technology package, China Petrochemical Baling Petrochemical Company in the product range, product quality and scale of the device are advanced in the world. China has also successfully developed, including solution polymerization styrene butadiene rubber, low-cis polybutadiene rubber and other industrial rubber lithium technology. The technological achievements also exported to foreign countries, creating the first column of chemical technology of oil exports.
Using technology to build large-scale domestic butadiene extraction apparatus used in various large-scale ethylene New Century building construction projects. Ethylene cracking C5 segregation technology development success, to enhance the value of the use of chemical by-products of ethylene made a significant contribution, and new varieties of synthetic rubber, such as butyl rubber, isoprene rubber and SIS and fine chemical products, providing a stable raw materials source. China already has the ability to customize the design and construction of styrene-butadiene rubber, nitrile rubber, most plastic types of large-scale installations. Qilu Petrochemical, Lanzhou Petrochemical were built the largest styrene-butadiene rubber and nitrile rubber production plant.
At present, China has the ability to independently research and development of new products and technologies of synthetic rubber, the rare earth catalytic system butadiene rubber, rubber powder, lithium-based rubber varieties, new thermoplastic elastomer, isoprene rubber, etc. using their own technology to achieve industrial production.
In addition, China's synthetic rubber industry more and more attention to environmental safety, the main rubber products are environmentally friendly products, in line with EU REACH standard bill, butadiene gas generated in the production of raw materials can be recycled.
Reality: surplus into the new normal
With the development of the domestic auto industry and the tire industry entered a new normal, China synthetic rubber industry began to face excess capacity, raw material supply and demand imbalance, the downstream demand is fierce competition.
Due to the world economic environment, the domestic market and support butadiene feedstock and other factors, synthetic rubber production capacity is much lower than the growth of a large number of plant capacity can be deposited. At the same time, due to the world's natural rubber inventories rise, prices continued to decline, the domestic synthetic rubber industry long-term excess profits "golden era" has ended, a lot of new projects put into operation after a loss.
"Structural surplus capacity is a major contradiction, low capacity utilization is currently the biggest problem." Zhou Wenrong told reporters, "Our main synthetic rubber plant capacity, production, consumption are in the world. However, a few years ago the development of the disorder caused an invalid larger proportion of production capacity, the homogenization of the product development too fast. by the end of 2014, mainly synthetic rubber production capacity of 5.18 million tons, the annual yield is not 300 tons, while imports reached 1.26 million tons about imported products occupy the domestic market led to plant operating rate decreased year by year. "
Zhou Wenrong think, until 2020, eight major domestic varieties of synthetic rubber production capacity will be close to or even higher than the actual consumption. Coupled with imports will be relatively large, China synthetic rubber products must enhance competitiveness, to the world.
Future: improve quality, strengthen service
Faced with severe overcapacity, fierce competition in the downstream market demand situation, China's synthetic rubber industry how to develop? "Overall, just two aspects, one is to improve product quality, is to strengthen after sales service. This is the current development of the industry the general trend. "Zhou Wenrong told reporters," we have enough capacity, quality of our products, the service needs to achieve the requirements of downstream users. "
He believed that under the normal development of the new product is not only a common future. Especially new enterprises to enter the industry must be careful decision-making, scientific assessment of competitiveness, prevent investment mistakes. Zhou Wenrong added to existing production enterprises downstream market for consumer characteristics, positive and forward-looking process applied research, development of special grades, the use of differentiated products and expanding profit margins.
Zhouwen Rong pointed out that the domestic industry should focus on upgrading the quality of synthetic rubber to expand market share, to develop new varieties of high-grade, application technology development and market-oriented service, speed new products to market development.
At the same time, play a synthetic rubber product advantages inherent to the product performance advantages of synthetic rubber, synthetic rubber to improve the use of proportion, synthetic rubber to increase the proportion of non-tire market application areas. Product upgrades need to adapt to downstream products, an increase in line with green tires need and can improve product quality and follow-up of special materials; the development of environmentally friendly products, the implementation of green and clean production, energy conservation, environmental compliance. All members of the industry to achieve the grand objective of China's synthetic rubber from power to a power forward in the common struggle!