Blue skies ahead for lead­ing chem­i­cal firm

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By ZHANG YU and YUAN HUI in Alxa, In­ner Mon­go­lia

A ma­jor Chi­nese chem­i­cal com­pany will in­crease pro­duc­tion of indigo dye to cope with ris­ing de­mand as it ex­pands its ex­port base.

Taix­ing Taifeng Chem­i­cal Co Ltd is the world’s lead­ing pro­ducer of indigo, a deep blue dye used in the pro­duc­tion of denim jeans for brands such as Levi Strauss & Co and Lee.

With a man­u­fac­tur­ing cen­ter in Alxa in North China’s In­ner Mon­go­lia au­ton­o­mous re­gion, the com­pany’s an­nual out­put is more than 30,000 met­ric tons of indigo prod­ucts. That trans­lates into 60 per­cent of the global mar­ket.

But the group is now plan­ning to in­crease an­nual pro­duc­tion to 42,000 tons.

“We are keen to ex­pand fur­ther be­cause we have the ad­van­tage of re­sources (such as metal­lic sodium, a main ma­te­rial for mak­ing indigo prod­ucts),” said Zhang Sheyuan, a gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial at the Alxa Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment Area, where Taix­ing Taifeng is based.

The eco­nomic devel­op­ment zone has an an­nual out­put of 45,000 tons of metal­lic sodium with a world­wide mar­ket share of 43 per­cent, Zhang pointed out.

The re­gion has also at­tracted var­i­ous chem­i­cal com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing Taix­ing Taifeng’s key sup­pli­ers.

“That’s why Taifeng, which has its head­quar­ters in Jiangsu prov­ince, de­cided to move here more than a decade ago,” Zhang said.

Founded in 2006, the com­pany is a sub­sidiary of chem­i­cal con­glom­er­ate Jiangsu Taifeng Chem­i­cal Co Ltd in East China’s Jiangsu prov­ince, and em­ploys 500 staff with to­tal as­sets of 960 mil­lion yuan ($141 mil­lion).

“We like hav­ing high-tech chem­i­cal com­pa­nies here as they add more value to our ma­te­rial ad­van­tages,” Zhang said, ad­ding that Alxa is now a lead­ing area for the chem­i­cal in­dus­try.

Many of the Taix­ing Taifeng’s prod­ucts are ex­ported to more than 30 coun­tries and re­gions, in­clud­ing South Africa, Pak­istan and the Euro­pean Union, Latin Amer­ica and South­east Asia.

Last year, the com­pany ex­ported 12,511 tons of indigo, ac­count­ing for about 40 per­cent of its to­tal out­put, with la­bels Levi’s and Lee be­ing ma­jor clients. In the first half of 2017, indigo ex­ports reached 6,640 tons, an in­crease of 6 per­cent com­pared to the same pe­riod of last year. Out­put for 2017 is ex­pected to hit 35,000 tons with a value of 1 bil­lion yuan.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Sam­ples are tested dur­ing the pro­duc­tion of indigo at Taix­ing Taifeng Chem­i­cal Co Ltd in Alxa, In­ner Mon­go­lia.

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