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How should the phosphate fertilizer industry "strengthen the bones"

· Industry Information

How should the phosphate fertilizer industry "strengthen the bones"

  The development of my country's phosphate fertilizer industry has gradually matured, and it has become a major producer, consumer and exporter of phosphate fertilizer products in the world. In 2019, the national phosphate fertilizer production capacity was 22.4 million tons, the production volume was 16.1 million tons, the apparent consumption was 10.97 million tons, and the self-sufficiency rate was 147%, the highest in history. With the brilliant results, the supply of main phosphate fertilizer products exceeds demand, the overall profit of the industry has declined, the number of loss-making companies has increased, and the number of production companies has reached a peak. Many problems have also caused the industry to think deeply about how to maintain the sustainable development of resources, environment and ecology to become a phosphate fertilizer industry. The key issues currently facing.

  Dilemma: "Ischemia" and "blood loss". Overcapacity and low resource utilization bother industry development

  First of all, insufficient production capacity is still the main fetter of industry development. Although some of the backward production capacity of the phosphate fertilizer industry has been cleared under the dual effects of supply-side reforms and environmental protection improvements in recent years, the overall capacity utilization rate of the industry is only 64%, far below the internationally recognized normal level, resulting in waste of resources and market Unfair competition is still affecting the healthy development of the industry.

  Second, the low comprehensive utilization rate of resources has become a bottleneck affecting the sustainable development of the phosphate fertilizer industry. Although the fluorine recovery, phosphogypsum and tailings comprehensive utilization technologies are in the forefront of the world, the fluorine utilization rate (calculated as fluorosilicic acid) in the entire industry is still less than 40%, and the tailing utilization rate is less than 10%. Although the utilization rate of phosphogypsum exceeded 40% in 2019, there is still a long way to go from the balance of production and use. The production of ammonium phosphate requires a large amount of phosphogypsum by-product, but the resource utilization of phosphogypsum in my country is restricted by many factors, and the disposal method is still based on storage. At present, the total domestic phosphogypsum stock has exceeded 500 million tons, and it is increasing at an annual rate of about 30-40 million tons. Due to the low profit of the industry, it also affects the innovation and development of science and technology. Wang Chen, deputy secretary-general of China Phosphate and Compound Fertilizer Industry Association, pointed out that “Science and technology innovation requires long-term continuous investment in manpower, property, and resources, and is risky. It requires strong capital to back up. The long-term low profits of phosphate fertilizer products make enterprises in The "survival" situation. It is not only the embarrassing situation of insufficient funds and the lack of hematopoietic capacity, but also the problem of rapid cost increase and excessive blood loss."

  There are not only "internal worries" but also "external worries". In the international market, the average annual export volume of my country's phosphate fertilizers in the past five years has been around 5.2 million tons, accounting for about one-third of the annual output and more than 30% of world trade. The market is relatively highly dependent on foreign countries. In the past five years, the continuous release of new international phosphate fertilizer production capacity, especially the release of phosphate fertilizer production capacity with resource advantages in the Middle East and North Africa, has further squeezed my country's phosphate fertilizer export space. In addition, major phosphate fertilizer importing countries represented by India have also been committed to improving domestic supply levels by building production facilities in recent years.

  Expectation: In-depth structural adjustment to promote industrial coordination and strengthen comprehensive utilization of resources

  Recently, the China Phosphate and Compound Fertilizer Industry Association has formulated the main development goal of the phosphate fertilizer industry during the 14th Five-Year Plan period: by 2025, the annual production capacity of phosphate fertilizer (P 2 O 5 ) will not exceed 20 million tons, of which the annual production capacity of ammonium phosphate will not exceed 15 million. Tons; external dependence on sulfur resources decreased by 10%, selected grades of phosphate rock decreased by 2%, and the proportion of new phosphate fertilizers increased by 10%; phosphoric acid production rate increased by 1%; comprehensive energy consumption for phosphate fertilizer production decreased by 5%-10% The emission intensity of major pollutants in phosphate fertilizer production has been reduced by 30%; the R&D investment in phosphate fertilizer products accounted for 3% of revenue, and the comprehensive utilization rate of phosphogypsum increased by 20%.

  In general, China accounts for 5% of the global phosphorus resources, produces 39% of the world’s phosphoric acid, 49% of ammonium phosphate, and exports nearly 40% of phosphate fertilizer products, but the profit rate of the entire phosphate fertilizer industry is 1%-4 %, much lower than the average profit margin of the petrochemical industry. Moreover, the impact of phosphogypsum discharged every year on the environment and ecology has attracted attention from all parties.

  Faced with the current industrial situation and such a large industrial scale, how to achieve the development goals of the "14th Five-Year Plan"? How to maintain the sustainable development of resources, environment and ecology?

  Gao Yongfeng, deputy secretary-general of the China Phosphate and Compound Fertilizer Industry Association, believes that my country's phosphate fertilizer industry urgently needs to undergo in-depth industrial structural adjustment and optimization. Gradually reduce the overall scale and maintain the sustainability of resources, environment, industry, and markets. It is also necessary to improve the overall level of technical equipment through the transformation and innovation of new fertilizer production technologies, micro-reaction technologies, and resource recovery technologies. At the same time, it will upgrade its product structure and develop high-end products such as high-quality ammonium phosphate fertilizers. Expand the scope of associated and symbiotic resource recovery, improve the high-end level of resource utilization, and develop from the single use of phosphorus to the comprehensive development and scientific use of all resources.

  To solve the problem of overcapacity, it is necessary to modify and improve industry access conditions. "The "Access Conditions for the Ammonium Phosphate Industry" contradicts the current regulations and standards and should be revised in time." Yu Qi, Director of the Third Inspection Division of the South China Inspection Bureau of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, suggested that in order to speed up the withdrawal of backward and excess capacity and improve the overall competition of the industry We will eliminate production enterprises with annual wet process phosphoric acid production capacity of less than 300,000 tons and fertilizer production capacity of less than 450,000 tons per year. Policies should also be introduced to reduce the environmental risks of the existing phosphogypsum storage, requiring ammonium phosphate production enterprises to standardize the management of the phosphogypsum storage in use, increase the comprehensive utilization rate of the phosphogypsum, and "determine production by use". All newly produced phosphogypsum is used to ensure that the total amount of phosphogypsum is "only reduced but not increased".

  In terms of enterprise development, “the phosphorus chemical industry can be reorganized in various ways to increase industrial concentration, and cultivate and develop large-scale, large-scale, and comprehensive large-scale enterprise groups.” Gao Yongfeng said, vertical integration with phosphorus, sulfur, and ammonia resources , Forming an integrated upstream and downstream enterprise. It can also combine phosphate fertilizer, yellow phosphorus and post-processing enterprises to form a comprehensive enterprise with close horizontal industrial coupling.

  In terms of optimizing product structure, it should cater to the current agricultural market. Throughout the development of global phosphorus chemical products, phosphate fertilizer products are still dominated by ammonium phosphate, but in some countries with more advanced agricultural technology, the focus is on the development of water-soluble phosphate fertilizer products, such as ammonium phosphate with low polymerization degree and potassium dihydrogen phosphate.

  "Combining China's soil testing and fertilization, water and fertilizer integration technology and the promotion of fertilizer reduction and efficiency technology, it is expected that new fertilizer products will have a million-ton level demand in China." Jiang Jijun, director of the strategic development department of Yunnan Yuntianhua Co., Ltd., told reporters that China On the premise that the competitiveness of basic fertilizers is not reduced, we must focus on promoting the transformation and upgrading of phosphate fertilizer products, including the transformation of low-grade fertilizers to medium and high-grade fertilizers, the development of traditional products to new phosphate fertilizer products, and the development of homogenization to differentiation. Break the production model of single ammonium phosphate products. In addition to maintaining an appropriate amount of ammonium phosphate products, focus on developing low-cost, water-soluble varieties for special purposes. And taking the above-mentioned base fertilizer as the main body, various new special fertilizers, slow-release fertilizers, high-efficiency fertilizers, multi-compound fertilizers containing medium and trace elements and other fertilizer varieties that meet the needs of modern agriculture are combined through compounding. Create a "pyramid" product structure (basic fertilizers such as ammonium phosphate at the bottom of the tower and slow-release fertilizer at the top of the tower). All in all, functional, compound, special, high-efficiency phosphate fertilizer is the future development trend of phosphate fertilizer.

  In addition, traditional phosphorus chemicals should be transformed into fine phosphorus chemicals. In the past, phosphorus chemicals had low added value, overcapacity, and insufficient high-end, refined and specialized products. "We should extend the phosphorus chemical industry chain, develop phosphorus deep-processing products, and increase the added value of products, so as to bring more economic benefits to enterprises." Jiang Jijun said.

Editor by Yuan Xiaoyin

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