JEC Group have brought together the international community of composites leaders and executives in our Composites Circle as an unique networking opportunity to meet with both peers and future partners.
JEC Composites Magazine interviewed one of the leaders in the Chinese composites sector, who shared her perspective on this market in full swing.
(Published on August-September 2005 – JEC Magazine #19)
JEC Composites Magazine: What direction do you think China’s composite market is taking in 2005?
Gu Peizhi: It is well known that the Chinese authorities have been conducting “macro adjustment and control” for the Chinese economy over the past few years. Although the price of the main raw materials for composite products has increased sharply, the FRP/composites industry will still continue to grow in 2005, thanks to the huge domestic and foreign markets. Total FRP/composite output in China in 2004 was 1.17 million tons, including 0.75 million tons for UP/FRP, 0.27 million tons for FRTP, and 0.15 million tons for glass-fibre-fabric based copper-clad laminates (CCL). In 2005, the Chinese industry will focus on promoting quality and production technology as it expands production capacity, and on the development of high-tech and high-value-added products like pleasure boats, blades for wind-power generators, filament-wound bottles and advanced thermoplastic composites. The industry will make great efforts to develop the technology and equipment for composite waste treatment and recycling. According to China FRP Association sources, total volume for FRP/composite products in China may reach 1.25 million tons in 2005, for a total value of as much
J.C.M.: Which sector – automotive, marine, building, etc. – will be driving the FRP/composite market?
G. P.: We believe that products for structural application like pipes, containers, tanks, auto and railway parts will continue to grow in 2005. The diagram below from the China FRP Industry Association shows how the different FRP/composite product segments are distributed in the Chinese market.
J.C.M.: Is production intended more for export or for the domestic market?
G. P.: Chinese FRP/composite products are produced mainly for domestic use. However, China’s entry into the WTO is a source of great opportunity for Chinese FRP/composite enterprises to open up their international business. Export products have shifted from mainly raw materials like yarns, mats, veils and additives, to products such as FRP pipes for municipal engineering, pultruded FRP/composite profiles, insulation panels, and prepregs for fishing rods and golf clubs. Overall, export products account for about 5% of total output, according to the China FRP Industry Association. Certain special products are exceptions, however. For instance, FRP grille output was 800,000 tons in 2004, 90% of which was for export.
J.C.M.: CNBM is a leader on the Chinese composites market. Do you also work for export?
G. P.: Yes, CNBM/CCGC also works for export. We have exported FRP pipes to Iraq and Austria (Vienna). In 2004, our exports amounted to $3.35 million. Our exports of glass-fibre veils to Europe, the USA and the Middle East in 2004 were worth $2.75 million.
J.C.M.: Are you considering investing in the composite sector abroad?
G. P.: Up to now, we have had no plans to invest in the FRP/composite sector outside of China. We are actively seeking opportunities for international cooperation, and to enhance the links with international industrial groups.
J.C.M.: Are you currently working on new composite developments?
G. P.: Yes, currently we are using advanced materials and equipment to develop new composite products, such as high-pressure containers for CNG and respiration bottles, large composite parts and luxury pleasure boats. We would like to invite international partners to cooperate with us.