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State firms play crucial role in ensuring medical supplies

By Cheng Yu | China Daily | Updated: 2020-03-03 09:31
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A textile company resumes work in Zaozhuang, East China's Shandong province, on Feb 20, 2020. [Photo/]

It has been a race against time. Days after the COVID-19 outbreak, companies under the State Development and Investment Corp decided to resume operations to produce badly-needed medical materials to supply workers in the front line of the epidemic.

With the production lines of SDIC Biotech Investment Co, the company's biotechnology subsidiary, moving into high gear, more than 4,000 metric tons of disinfectants have been delivered to Hubei province and across China.

"As soon as we knew disinfectants were in shortage due to the epidemic, we decided to produce medical ethanol, the main raw material for disinfectants," said Yue Guojun, chief scientist at SDIC and chairman of SDIC Biotech.

Yue explained that previously, most of their ethanol products were used for ethanol fuel and foodgrade alcohol instead of for medical use.

In line with Chinese President Xi Jinping's call, the country's State-owned enterprises like SDIC are setting good examples in resuming work while seeking to contain the disease.

Xi urged that coordinated efforts are needed to resume production based on the local health situation to promote socioeconomic development while preventing the spread of the virus.

As of now, five ethanol production bases of SDIC Biotech have quickly rejigged their production lines and have been working at full capacity to churn out medical ethanol. They are now able to produce 2,000 tons of methanol disinfectants daily.

"Our technologies enable us to change the production lines back to normal even after the epidemic in a flexible way," he said.

In addition to badly-needed materials, YAPP Automotive Parts Co Ltd, the automotive subsidiary of SDIC, is also doing its part. As the third largest supplier of vehicle fuel storage systems in the world, the firm is resuming production step by step, especially in terms of its exports.

Its Shanghai factory, which is responsible for some vehicle components for major carmakers including SAIC Volkswagen, has bought medical prevention resources to ensure safety and has cooperated with local authorities to ensure that staff can return to work.

By mid-February, the factory has offered its normal run of supplies for on-time delivery to the United States. Its Chengdu factory has successfully exported fuel tanks to France.

"A consortium of SOEs are resuming operations in different regions, industries and working on several projects during the outbreak", Xia Qingfeng, director of the Bureau of Publicity of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council, said at a news conference.

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