China’s first self-developed adiponitrile enters industrial production, a milestone in resolving ‘bottleneck’ technology and securing supply chains

China’s first self-developed adiponitrile enters industrial production in Zibo, East China’s Shandong Province on Sunday, marking a historic milestone in the nation’s resolving of the “bottleneck” technology in high-end polyamide new material industrial chain, while making it possible for the future reduction of overreliance on foreign suppliers.

China’s first self-developed adiponitrile enters industrial production, a milestone in resolving ‘bottleneck’ technology and securing supply chains

industrial production , The launch of operations for the first-phase of the project is expected to break the foreign monopoly in the corresponding production technology concerning adiponitrile, which is essential for a wide range of advanced manufacturing, including the automobile engines, aerospace and other engineering and construction sectors, as China drives forward a technology upgrade and secures supply chains amid rising global volatility. The new material project, developed by the China National Chemical Engineering Group (CNCEC), is set to break the foreign monopoly on the commodity while securing the supply chain for the new material, which is essential for manufacture of advanced equipment including the automobile engines, electrical appliances, car body, high-speed rail, as well as turbines on large ships, according to media reports. Adiponitrile is the core raw material used in the production of nylon 66 which is the key material that is widely used in automobile, aerospace and other engineering and construction sectors. Nylon 66 is also frequently used in high-end clothing. The project was invested in and built by CNCEC, first entering construction in Zibo in May 2020, with the first phase covering 1,800 mu (119.88 hectares). The new material project is able to use butadiene as its main raw material to produce 200,000 tons of adiponitrile and some other related new material products per year.

Moreover, its completion is expected to drive the advancement of the domestic nylon 66 industrial chain and the formation of a new material industry cluster with a total output value surpassing 100 billion yuan ($14.82 billion), according to media report This important material for technology advancement and commercialization has been monopolized by few foreign monopolies in production, making the supply often insufficient or costly. In recent years, the “force majeure events” issued by foreign adiponitrile producers led to production halting from time to time resulting in costly interruptions in the supply of essential inputs. For example, in March last year, Ascend and Invista, the world’s dominant producers of Nylon 66 polymers and fibers, announced the reduction of supply capacity due to equipment damage caused by severe weather and power outages in Texas. The two US suppliers produce adiponitrile, the front-end material for nylon 66, with an estimated combined market share of over 60 percent.

This has led to extremely tight supply of nylon 66, and the market price has more than doubled, rising from less than 20,000 yuan per ton to 50,000 yuan per ton in a very short period of time, with domestic downstream related enterprises facing losses, while most of the generated premiums are enjoyed by foreign companies. In order to ensure the adequate and reliable supply of adiponitrile, its localized production with self-developed technology and a stable supply chain has always been viewed as a priority, and has been listed as a major scientific and technological research project by the Chinese central government. Since 2011, CNCEC has carried out a large number of research experiments, and has continuously consolidated its experience to develop the technology that has paved the way for local adiponitrile production with independent intellectual property rights.

Source: This news is originally published by globaltime