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"Age of Titanium -- Creation of the Future" National Titanium Industry Innovation and Start-up Competition 2020 Held in Panzhihua

CHENGDU, China, Dec. 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The "Age of Titanium -- Creation of the Future" National Titanium Industry Innovation and Start-up Competition 2020, China's first titanium-themed nationwide titanium industry innovation and start-up contest, was hosted by the Panzhihua Municipal People's Government of Sichuan Province inside the Roadshow Hall of the Panzhihua Municipal Innovation and Start-up Olympic Center on December 26.

After the preliminary and secondary rounds, a total of 18 distinguished teams entered the final. Hailing from 12 provinces and municipalities, the finalists cover all Chinese regions involved in the titanium industry. A score of outstanding projects and technologies from the Chinese titanium industry participated in the competition, including those with innovative applications in the biomedicine, aerospace, marine engineering sectors and traditional titanium sponge smelting, casting and forging, which served to optimize Panzhihua's existing industry foundation. After the final, project cooperation agreements were inked between Panzhihua and ten enterprises, which would lay a good basis to future development of Panzhihua's titanium industry.

In recent years, Panzhihua has leaned on its rich vanadium and titanium resources and scientific and technological innovations to drive the growth of its vanadium and titanium industry. The city has risen as the country's largest refined titanium ore supply base and the world's number one vanadium product manufacturer, truly living up to its reputation as the Chinese capital of vanadium and titanium, and striving toward the goal of becoming a world-class vanadium and titanium industry base.

Green Development Philosophy Propels Transformation of the "City of Steel"

As one of China's four major iron-producing regions, Panzhihua has a substantial amount of vanadium-titanium magnetite resources, including 7.18 billion tons of proven iron ore that accounts for 72.3% of proven iron ore reserve of Sichuan Province. Relying on its abundant mineral wealth, Panzhihua became well-known as one of southwestern China's most important resource-driven industrial cities as early as the 1970s, and the steel industry thrived within a vast area around Panzhihua, which inspired its nickname the "City of Steel".

However, the extensive development in the early days was achieved at the cost of the ecological environment. In 2004, Panzhihua gained notoriety as "Ten Cities with Worst Air Quality in China," and the intensifying conflict between development and the environment compelled Panzhihua to make a stand and say no to pollution.

In the many years thereafter, Panzhihua committed more than RMB25 billion for environment protection and management, including over RMB12 billion from Panzhihua Iron and Steel (Pangang). A slew of measures were taken to address major sources of pollutants such as flue gas desulfurization from sintering machines, and the city was also the first in the nation to levy a far-reaching tax on water resource conservation. Economic and taxation means were also adopted to motivate enterprises to upgrade their technologies, adjust industrial structures and elevate the level of clean production.

In addition, Panzhihua was determined to stop deforestation and farmland reclamation, and strict laws were enacted to curtail illegal lumbering, land reclamation and forest destruction. Ecology restoration and large-scale greening endeavors were carried out to bolster the gravely weakened ecology of Jinsha River's Dry-hot Valley, resulting in 62% forest coverage in the city.

Under a multi-pronged approach, Panzhihua saw remarkable improvement in the lushness of its mountains, clarity of its water and cleanliness of its air. Monitoring data shows that Panzhihua has consistently maintained good air quality more than 97% of the year for many consecutive years, while PM2.5 has been kept below 35 micrograms throughout the year. As a result, Panzhihua has emerged as one of China's renowned city of sunshine and health preservation.

Scientific and Technological Innovations in Vanadium and Titanium Boost Industry Upgrade

During more than five decades of development, Panzhihua, a typical resource-driven city, has strived to maximize its resource advantage and oriented its vanadium and titanium industry toward the "advanced, refined, top-notch" orientation, thereby emerging as a Chinese success story in the comprehensive use of vanadium-titanium magnetite resources.

Well-endowed in vanadium-titanium magnetite resources, Panzhihua has the largest titanium reserve in the world, respectively accounting for 93% and 35% of the national and worldwide total. As the third-largest vanadium reserve region in the world, Panzhihua makes up 63% and 11% of the national and worldwide total respectively. Between 2016 and 2019, Panzhihua invested more than RMB5 billion for a series of worldwide tenders involving scientific and technological breakthroughs, which were conducive to accelerating major scientific and technological innovation projects such as blast furnace slag titanium extraction, vanadium-aluminum alloys for the space industry, titanium and titanium alloys for applications in aerospace, and so forth.

In recent years, these innovation projects have resulted in the successful research and development of more than ten state-of-the-art vanadium and titanium technologies and sophisticated products like vacuum continuous titanium coating and titanium alloy rehabilitation instrument, while several dozen vanadium and titanium high-precision casting products have found applications in cutting-edge industries. Panzhihua has ascended as the world's foremost titanium product manufacturer and China's number one titanium raw material producer, with capacity for the production of goods such as titanium material, titanium pipe, titanium wire and titanium powder. Panzhihua, listed as a National Strategic Resource Innovation Development Pilot Zone, has witnessed the establishment of the National-level Vanadium-titanium High-tech Zone and the National Committee for Vanadium-titanium Magnetite Comprehensive Usage Standardized Technology.

Pangang, built upon the vanadium-titanium magnetite resources, has transformed into the world's top vanadium producer and China's biggest titanium raw material and titanium processing enterprise after several decades of development. Particularly noteworthy is the 100-meter vanadium-containing steel rail manufactured by Pangang, the one and only top-tier steel rail that has won "national export inspection exemption" qualification. Due to its natural vanadium content, outstanding anti-corrosion and excellent durability, the signature product has been extensively utilized in national key programs and projects undertaken in cold and high-altitude areas such as the Beijing-Tianjin Hi-speed Railway and Qinghai-Tibet Hi-speed Railway, sold to more than 30 nations and regions across the globe, thereby driving Chinese hi-speed railway to reach world-class velocity.

Furthermore, relevant academic and technical talents introduced and cultivated also play crucial roles in the course of the transformation and upgrade of the Panzhihua vanadium and titanium industry. Contract was signed for the Panzhihua Vanadium and Titanium Industry Leading Talent Assembly and Breakthrough Plan -- "Titanium and Its Composite Material Deep Processing and Surface Treatment Innovation Team" on May 22, 2020, which ushered in more possibilities for relevant human resources to showcase their expertise in the city.

In the future, response to its aspiration of becoming a world-class vanadium and titanium industry base, Panzhihua will rely on its Vanadium and Titanium New City and Panzhihua-Xichang Science and Technology City, make sufficient use of platform advantages such as its status as a National Strategic Resource Innovation Development Pilot Zone, maximize its mineral resources, well-established industrial support, unique industries and other strengths, so as to earn its place as a world-class vanadium and titanium industry base.

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SOURCE Panzhihua Municipal People's Government

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