Recently, the General Office of the Hubei Provincial Government promulgated Suggestions on Accelerating Restructuring of Chemical Fertilizer Industry and Promoting Transformation and Upgrade thereof (hereinafter referred to as Suggestions). The province has requested to accelerate the restructuring of the chemical fertilizer industry and promote the transformation. By 2015, the number of chemical fertilizer enterprises will decrease 30 percent and over 80 percent will move into the chemical industrial parks. In addition, the annual yield of chemical fertilizer will stabilized around 10 million tons (pure). An intensive industrial layout that focuses on business conglomerates will form and waste water, gas and solid discharges by chemical fertilizer enterprises will be controlled and recycled.
The chemical fertilizer industry in the Hubei province has been rapidly growing in recent years. Both the scale and competitiveness have been strengthened. Moreover, the output of chemical fertilizers is ranked 2nd nationwide and the productive capacity can reach up to 10 million tons/year (pure).
It is acclaimed as the largest production base for phosphate fertilizer. Also, industrial systems with varieties such as ammonium phosphate, carbamide and nitrogen-potassium-phosphate compound fertilizers have been formed. However, a good many problems still remain: improper product structure, duplicate construction and a large proportion of outdated productive capacity; decentralized industrial layouts and weak backbone enterprises; poor independent innovation ability and technical progress at a standstill; limited energy resources with more pressure on environmental protection, energy savings and emissions reduction.
If the restructuring and transformation were held up, the chemical fertilizer industry would be bound to face limited resources, environmental deterioration and an undeveloped market. Therefore, the provincial CPC committee and government demand that the industry look at the big picture, be responsible for sustainable development and be mindful of potential problems.
Furthermore, the relationship between the local, the whole and the present and the future shall be handled cautiously. This will push forward the restructuring, transformation and upgrading of the chemical fertilizer industry.
The goal is set as follows: by 2015, the overall technology of the chemical fertilizer industry will reach an advanced stage and the backbone enterprise will take lead in China. Moreover, the annual yield of chemical fertilizer will be kept around 10 million tons (pure) and the proportion of high concentration fertilizer will increase by 85 percent plus.
In order to level up industrial concentration, the number of chemical fertilizer enterprises will decrease by 30 percent and over 80 percent will move into chemical industrial parks as planned. Moreover, the intensive industrial layout that focuses on business conglomerates will have been established and the annual sales revenue of the chemical fertilizer industry will have reached 150 billion yuan.
Specifically, over three conglomerates will realize their annual sales revenues of over 10 billion yuan and more than five conglomerates will realize annual sales revenues of 5-10 billion yuan. In addition, waste water, gas and solid wastes discharged by chemical fertilizer enterprises will be controlled and recycled.
As indicated in Suggestions, Hubei province shall develop premium high concentration chemical fertilizer. Technical renovation for the existing production facilities will be made in a bid to improve product quality, save energy, protect the environment, upgrade equipment and control for safety in production with the integrated utilization of resources.
Meanwhile, the production level and technology of related enterprises shall be enhanced in an all-round manner. The newly-built chemical fertilizer projects for ammonium phosphate, carbamide, ordinary superphosphate, carbon ammonium and low concentration compound fertilizer shall be rigidly controlled.
As indicated in Suggestions, Hubei province shall strictly comply with Guidance Catalogue for Partial Industries' Elimination of Backward Process Technique, Equipment and Product (Version 2010) (GCY  No. 122), Guidance Catalogue for Reorganization of the Industry (Version 2011) (No. 9 Order of the National Development and Reform Commission in 2011) and the state’s policies for the chemical fertilizer industry. During the "12th Five-year Plan", there will be a rapid elimination of synthetic ammonia installations that fails to meet the threshold value as required by the state’s energy consumption standards.
There will also be the eradication of the follwing: ammonium phosphate plants whose integrated utilization rate for phosphogypsum fails to reach the annual discharge amount of 15 percent; sulfurous iron ore acid-making device of which the slag is not fully circled; desulfuration of semi-water gas and ammonia water; wet desulfurization process without sulfur recovery facilities; waste heat recovery without air gas; intermittent coal gasification device with an immobile layer; and technique for constant pressure change and medium temperature shift conversions (high temperature shift) of carbonic oxide.
In addition, the following will be further be phased out: the synthetic ammonia installation with an output less than 50,000 tons/year; medium (low) concentration fertilizer mixing devices with an output of less than 50,000 tons/year; iron ore sulphate and sulphur acid-making devices with an output of less than 100,000 tons/year; ordinary superphosphate and calcium magnesium phosphate devices with an output of less than 100,000 tons/year; ammonium bicarbonate devices with an output of less than 150,000 tons/year; and carbamide devices with the output of less than 150,000 tons/year.
As required by Suggestions, enterprises and market-oriented chemical fertilizer technology innovation systems shall be established and improved to achieve the cooperation between the industry, universities and research institutes. Furthermore, we shall positively carry out research on the advanced and appropriate technologies in the chemical fertilizer industry.
This will boost the “Merge of Industrialization and Informatization in Chemical Industry” and enhance the informatization and comprehensive techniques of the chemical fertilizer industry. Meanwhile, technical renovation shall be strengthened, so that high and new technology and appropriate techniques will be fully adopted to upgrade the chemical fertilizer industry in the whole province. In addition, new techniques for coal gasification, advanced purification techniques and multiple techniques shall be positively promoted inside the nitrogenous fertilizer industry. For the phosphate fertilizer industry, the techniques for low-grade phosphate rock and collo-phane mineral separation, phosphoric acid purification with wet method and phosphoric acid grading shall be introduced.
We shall initiate the innovation of energy-saving emissions reduction, new equipment and new technology in order to realize the decrement and recycling of waste while boosting cyclic utilization. The total productive capacity and key pollutants from chemical fertilizers shall be controlled. The newly-built chemical fertilizer projects shall adopt the “equal or decreased elimination” and establish overall control of pollutants.
The total pollutant emissions shall benefit from the elimination of a backward productive capacity or “Updating of Existing Devices”. The nitrogenous fertilizer industry shall develop and adopt the techniques to achieve zero discharge of production waste, ultra-low discharge of liquid waste and integrated utilization of waste gas and waste solids.
The comprehensive projects for the use of resources in the phosphate fertilizer industry shall be constructed to realize the iron ore sulphate resource recovery, medium and low-grade phosphate rock acid-making, integrated utilization of phosphogypsum and fluorine resource recovery.
We shall exercise strict control over the construction of chemical fertilizer projects. Quality, safety, environmental protection, energy consumption and eco-production shall be further emphasized. Production licensing, safety in production, electricity supply, land use and approval of credit financing will control the construction process of chemical fertilizer projects. If the construction of chemical fertilizer projects departs from this rule, the related units and personnel shall be severely punished.
The chemical fertilizer industry shall be further regulated and controlled. The Provincial Commission of Economy and Informatization will jointly cooperate with the provincial Environmental Protection Office, the provincial Safety Inspection Bureau, provincial Price Bureau, the Central China Electricity Regulatory Bureau and the Provincial Power Company.
They will issue the order for the improvement of chemical fertilizer enterprises with backward technique, heavy energy consumption, a low resource utilization rate, serious environmental pollution and those that pose a serious potential safety hazard. If the chemical fertilizer enterprise fails to reach the standards after improvement, the favorable power rate policy for small chemical fertilizer enterprises shall be cancelled.