Ren Jianxin, president of China National Chemical Corp (ChemChina), says saving energy and cutting pollution are the top priorities for his company in the year ahead.
"We have set a target for emissions in 2008 and this will be our most important work," he tells China Business Weekly.
The nation's top chemical manufacturer will not approve any new project that cannot meet the goals and will improve its existing facilities to make them more energy efficient and environmentally friendly.
The company will also close plants with outdated technologies, says Ren.
ChemChina has built 40 new manufacturing facilities since its founding in 2004 and generated about 30 billion yuan in revenue. All of the plants have been built with advanced technology for high energy efficiency and fewer impacts on the environment.
"Our efforts in energy and the environment are not just to show our corporate responsibility - they are also for sustainable development of the company," says Ren.
"Over the past three years we have seen annual growth of 91 percent in our core business, and profit growth of 71 percent year-on-year. In 2007 sales are expected to surpass 100 billion yuan."
Some of the companies under the ChemChina umbrella have also made their own plans on energy and the environment. Jinan Yuxing Chemical Co Ltd signed an agreement with the local government on pollution reduction during the 11th Five-Year Plan period (2006-10).
Others are also making efforts. Based in Jiaozuo, Central China's Henan Province, Haohua Yuhang Co Ltd invested 112 million yuan on environmental protection in recent years, including 25 million yuan for wastewater treatment. Its facilities can reuse 12 million tons of wastewater a year, saving 9.5 million yuan annually. The company also started a calcium carbide residue cement project that has a capacity of 150,000 tons.
"Beginning in 2008 all companies under ChemChina will make their own specific plans on energy and the environment," says Ren.
Wastewater treatment will be a large part of ChemChina's 2008 plans, as the company consumes large amounts of water each year.
Its effort will be divided into several phases. The first step will be pilot projects built at several chemical plants.
Experts have already begun research for the projects, the operations of which will provide experience to be used at other ChemChina companies, says Ren.
Efforts will also include effluent treatment at refinery plants and eliminating chlorine and alkali discharges. Technologies to be used in the two programs were earlier assessed by experts from Beijing University of Chemical Technology and Tianjin University, as well as research institutes run by Sinopec, the nation's top petroleum refiner.
All are part of ChemChina's development of a range of treatment technologies, including those by its subsidiary China National Bluestar (Group) Corp, the nation's leader in water treatment.
Bluestar is now a national center for research, development and production of liquid separation membrane technology. In the past decade it has provided products and services to numerous industries, including petroleum and petrochemicals, metallurgy, electricity generation, electronics, food production, pharmaceuticals and municipal water plants.
"Through our efforts we will develop new technologies and we are planning to apply for patents on them," says Ren.
BlueStar earlier said it has entirely eliminated toxic residues from chromium chemical production at a pilot plant in Central China's Henan Province.
With the cooperation of the Chinese Academy of Science, the company built the world's first pollution-free plant to make chromium oxide green, desulfurizing products and potassium chromate.
Chromium chemicals are used in the lighting industry, leather tanning, pigments and electroplating. China is a major producer with an annual output capacity of 318,000 tons.
Bluestar's project has zero discharge of chromium residue and chromium dust. It consumes 20 percent less power than traditional technologies.