Under the current environment of “carbon peaking and neutrality” and“dual control of energy consumption” policy measures in China, how can manufacturers develop a sustained business development? For high-energy consuming agrochemical enterprises, technological innovation and advancement have definitely become necessary to maintaining sustainable development. Shaoxing Eastlake High-Tech, a technology-driven company with a broad international vision and proactive insight, has always treated technological innovation as the cornerstone of its business development. Eastlake High-Tech has aggressively adopted disruptive microreaction technology to produce high-quality plant growth regulators, standing out as an industry model among many enterprises. For this reason, Eastlake High-Tech was awarded the honorary title of “National Specialization Little Giant.” With the steady implementation of its new chemical project in Shangyu, Eastlake High-Tech is expected to truly become a global ethephon leader, upon completion of its new project.
Recently, the journalist from AgroPages interviewed Ji Sheng, General Manager of Eastlake High-Tech. Ji introduced the development history of Eastlake High-Tech, its achievements in the microreaction exploration and its technical breakthroughs, its new project in Shangyu, its future development plan, and his views and suggestions on the industry’s future development.
Ji Sheng, General Manager of Eastlake High-Tech
AgroPages: Please give us a brief history of the development of Eastlake High-Tech
Shaoxing Eastlake High-Tech Co., Ltd. was founded in 1989, being a national high-tech enterprise, Zhejiang Province’s “hidden champion enterprise” and a “National Specialization Little Giant.” Adhering to its mission of “Better chemistry for better future,” Eastlake High-Tech is dedicated to the production of the plant growth regulators, ethephon and chlormequat, as well as providing related services. These products are not only sold in China but also exported to some 20 countries, including the United States (US) and the European Union (EU). In the coming years, we will enter more global markets.
The company’s subsidiaries and branches include Ehrfeld Microreaction Technology, Ehrfeld Chemical Technology (Shanghai), Eastlake High-Tech Shanghai R&D Center and Shaoxing Shangyu Eastlake Chemical.
Eastlake High-Tech keeps pace with international scientific and technological developments; complies with the concept of the “green, circular, sustainable development”; develops green and intelligent manufacturing; and invests more in technical research and industrialization of technical achievements. The company’s provincial corporate research institute, Eastlake High-Tech Plant Growth Regulator Research Institute, employs a leading international research, design and applications team. The institute has been approvals a US patent and a European patent, as well as nine Chinese invention patents and eight utility model patents. The company’s “high-purity, environment-friendly and continuous ethephon process research and industrialization program” passed its technical evaluation in June 2019, and is regarded as an internationally advanced technology in terms of continuous reaction, separation, recovery and multi-series reaction.
AgroPages: Would you please introduce us to your microreaction technology and technical breakthroughs? Are there any plans for the broader application of this technology?
As a disruptive synthesis technology, microreaction technology combines various advantages. It is a revolutionary technology that complements conventional chemical equipment, and improves the mass transfer and the heat transfer in chemical reaction by hundreds or thousands of times. Accordingly, it improves the process efficiency and safety while reducing waste water and waste gas, therefore, achieving truly safe, green and high-efficient production.
Eastlake High-Tech’s technical exploration has never stopped. For many years, the company has been committed to the development and application of microreaction technology, which is being extended to new applications. Back to 2000, the company began to focus on the research and application of microchannel reaction in the continuous production of ethephon. In 2012, Eastlake High-Tech started cooperating with Ehrfeld, which is regarded as the top industry player in microreaction technology. Through the cooperation, Eastlake High-Tech has adopted microreaction technology in the production of ethephon technical. At the end of September of 2016, the world’s first 10,000-ton safe, efficient, environmentally-friendly and continuous ethephon technical production line was brought on stream by Eastlake High-Tech. In July 2017, Eastlake High-Tech acquired 100% stakes in Ehrfeld, therefore, obtaining the world’s leading microreactor technology. In February 2019, Ehrfeld established Ehrfeld Chemical Technology (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. In August 2020, Shaoxing Shangyu Eastlake Chemical was established.
Currently, the company operates three sets of 10,000-ton microreaction units. The new process can reduce the production of hazardous materials in the course of reaction to 1/2000 as compared to the conventional process, greatly improving safety on the worksite. Hence, the company’s ethephon yield has increased by 130 times, which leads to the efficient use of land. The key benefit of this fact is that the main content of ethephon increased up to 94% or higher, which exceeds the FAO’s standard and the Chinese national standard. This is an internationally advanced performance. With the application of microreaction technology, Eastlake High-Tech predicts a constant expansion of global market share.
In the years ahead, being based on Ehrfeld’ technical advantage in microreaction, Eastlake High-Tech is prepared to develop microchannel reaction-based chemicals, but not only agrochemicals. The products to be developed will cover high-end fine chemicals, particularly specialty fine chemicals. The company has established a research and development center in Shanghai to improve its product screening and feasibility experimentation.
AgroPages: Can you please give a specific introduction to the planning and latest progress of the Shangyu Eastlake Chemical Project? Can you talk about its key role in your development strategy? How will the project affect the global ethephon market?
The Shangyu Eastlake Chemical Project was launched in April 2021, and the installation of its equipment is expected to begin in March 2022, to be followed by trial production in early 2023. Due to its process advantage, Shangyu new plant’s ethephon production will be fully based upon microchannel reaction, while the existing microchannel reactor will be upgraded. More intelligent process control and a factory energy management system will be implemented, so production efficiency will be more improved. The project is designed to have a production capacity of 40,000 tons of ethephon and 20,000 tons of chlormequat technical, together with supporting formulations. Upon completion, production value is expected to reach 2 billion Yuan annually. Eastlake High-Tech’s global ethephon market share will therefore increase, enabling it to become the global ethephon industry leader.
Eastlake High-Tech is committed to becoming a global industry leader in micro-chemical and fine chemical industries, as well as a world-class plant growth regulator manufacturer and service provider. We hope to work together with more multinationals, distributors, dealers and end users around the world, and we will provide top quality and competitive products.
AgroPages: How will you review the problems existing in the Chinese agrochemical industry? Especially under the current circumstance of “carbon peaking and neutrality” and “dual control of energy consumption” policy measures in China. How can small and medium-sized agrochemical enterprises build up their distinctive advantages to compete in the international market?
At present, the problems of the Chinese agrochemical industry include its small scale of production, low industrial concentration, insufficient spending in research and development, weak innovation ability, safety and environmental challenges, and outdated engineering and processes.
For small and medium-sized enterprises in the agrochemical industry, “specialization” will be the future direction of high-quality industry development. The current “carbon peaking and neutrality” and“dual control of energy consumption” policy measures are major challenges to the agrochemical industry, which belongs to the C26 category as a “high energy consumption and high emission” industry, being typically a target of “energy consumption and intensity control.”
For agrochemical production, it is a never-ending effort to create greater product value with limited resources and energy consumption. The continuity of the agrochemical production process, the pollution control in the course of production and the running efficiency of equipment will be the three key factors for the production of high-quality agrochemicals in the future, which are also key factors for enhancement of core competencies of manufacturers. Only by upgrading activities covering these three key factors can an agrochemical enterprise manufacture products of better quality at competitive prices, which help to maintain its own advantage in the increasingly fierce and competitive market.
If you are interested in cooperation with Eastlake High-Tech, please contact:
Song Zhiwei | Eastlake High-Tech
Tel: +86-57588030502|+86 -13505752501