Amid China's economic slowdown in 2013, the coke price continued to fall and the coking industry remained weak, thus the situation of oversupply would not get changed in the short term. In 2005-2013, China's total coal tar output grew year by year with the rising coke output, at an annual average growth rate of 9.9%. The output in 2013 jumped 16% year on year to 20 million tons. Affected by material supply, 61.1% of domestic coal tar capacity is concentrated in the coal-rich North China (40%) and East China (21.1%). Shanxi as an important coal-producing province contributes 25.2% to the country's total coal tar output, ranking first; Hebei takes second place with 16.1%; followed by Henan with 7.6%.
In China, deep processing and carbon black consume more than 90% of coal tar, and a small amount of coal tar is exported or used to produce gasoline and diesel oil via high-pressure hydrogenation. China has few high-quality and high value-added coal tar deep-processed products. In 2013, Chinese coal tar deep-processing industry represented actual processing capacity of 11 million tons (total design processing capacity of 23 million tons), up 20.7% year on year. In the same year, the operating rate of carbon black processing units hit around 60%, with actual output of 3.8 million tons and coal tar consumption of 3.26 million tons.
In 2013, Xinjiang Baoshun's 300,000 tons/a Coal Tar Deep-processing Project (Phase I) and Shandong Baoshun's 600,000 tons/a Coal Tar Deep-processing Project went into operation, making Baoshun's total capacity realizing 1.55 million tons/a, accounting for 6.7 % of China's total coal tar deep-processing capacity and surpassing Shanghai Baosteel Chemical Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as Baochem) to become the largest coal tar deep-processing enterprise in China.
As the country's most competitive coal tar processing enterprise in China, Baochem can produce 750,000 tons of coal tar, 3.1 billion cubic meters of coke oven gas, 250,000 tons of crude benzene and 150,000 tons of carbon black annually.
Wuhan Iron And Steel (Group) Corp. put its 500,000 tons/a Coal Tar Project - Phase I into production in 2013 to fill the blank of the coal chemical industry in Wuhan; the Phase II is under construction, expected to go into operation in 2015.
Shanxi Coking Co., Ltd, one of China's largest independent coking enterprises, is actively planning a 10,000-ton-level coal-coking integration project on the basis of coal-coking industrial layout of 3.6 million tons/a coke, 300,000 tons/a coal tar, 100,000 tons/a crude benzene, etc.. With planned investment of RMB62.7 billion, the new project is expected to begin in 2015, when the company will gain additional capacity of 15 million tons/a coke, 1.8 million tons/a methyl alcohol, 600,000 tons of alkene, 20,000 tons/a ultra-high power graphite electrode, 100,000 tons of coal-based needle coke, 80,000 tons/a carbon black, 600,000 tons/a coal tar as well as 150,000 tons/a crude benzene.
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