Liaoning scraps its rusty past to shine as hub of innovation

High-tech upgrade of traditional industries spurs province's further growth

By Zhang Xiaomin,Wu Yong and Xu Ziming in Shenyang | China Daily | Updated: 2024-07-10 07:17
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A smelter of the Ansteel Group operating in Anshan, Liaoning. PAN YULONG/XINHUA

Driven by innovation

Two new ethylenediamine production lines with independent core technologies recently commenced operations at an industrial park on Changxing Island, Dalian.

The lines produce essential fine chemical products, high-quality compounds that are made in relatively small quantities using complex chemical processes.

The production lines were jointly developed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP) and local enterprises.

"Through technological innovation, we have rapidly industrialized scientific achievements, reduced production costs, and enhanced the competitiveness of downstream fine chemical industry chains," Chen Jianhua, chairman and president of Hengli Group Co, told China Central Television.

Dalian's well-structured technological innovation platform is helping new products and technologies swiftly transit from the laboratory to the broader market.

The northeastern port city has established 115 national-level scientific innovation platforms, and nearly 900 provincial and municipal-level key laboratories, technology innovation centers, and innovation platforms.

"High-quality development must adhere to innovation as the driving force, focusing on laying out an innovation chain around the industrial chain and vice versa, swiftly transforming technological innovation achievements into tangible productivity," said Cheng Nan, director of the technology and standard institute at the China Center for Information Industry Development, a think tank in Beijing.

Staff members have a discussion at the Ansteel Group's Ironmaking Central Control Center in Anshan on June 15. ZHU XINGXIN/CHINA DAILY

Jinpu New Area

In Dalian's Jinpu New Area, China's 10th State-level new area, the outdoor exhibition area of Mixwell Technology (Dalian) Co showcases various vehicles such as hydrogen fuel cell refrigerated trucks and passenger vehicles. Adjacent to them is a boat featuring the company's power system.

"This hydrogen fuel cell boat is equipped with our complete power system, jointly developed by Dalian Maritime University, Mixwell, and the DICP," said Ji Guancheng, general manager of the company.

Since its establishment in 2016, the national-level high-tech enterprise has focused on research and development of its hydrogen fuel cell power system.

The company has experienced rapid growth and its hydrogen fuel cell system is widely used in various vehicles, including buses, passenger cars, and heavy-duty commercial vehicles.

The Jinpu New Area is leveraging its industrial, resource, and technological innovation advantages to help develop the hydrogen energy industry, and collaborating with research institutes such as the DICP to promote scientific research.

It is also boosting exchanges and cooperation with the hydrogen energy industry at home and internationally, and attracting high-quality projects and talent to accelerate development of the hydrogen energy industry.

In the Dalian High-tech Zone, Dalian Rongke Power Co, a service provider for vanadium redox flow batteries, is playing a pioneering role in the global energy storage industry. VRFBs are an emerging technology being developed for the effective storage of renewable energy.

The company said it has built the world's largest intelligent manufacturing base for such equipment. "Our products are widely utilized in areas such as grid peak shaving, renewable energy grid connection, and industrial and commercial microgrids," said Wang Xiaoli, Rongke's general manager.

Hydrogen energy and energy storage are important sectors in the development of emerging industries in Dalian.

By 2023, the scale of strategic emerging industries in Dalian had reached 386.68 billion yuan ($53.21 billion), a year-on-year increase of 13.2 percent, according to the Economic Daily. The value added amount of strategic emerging industries reached 116.54 billion yuan.

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