Industry Trends

August 2021

See what has been happening in Asia’s petrochemicals, agrochemicals, automotive, bio energy, and mining industries over the last weeks. What are experts and industry magazines talking about?

What has been happening?

Sodium-ion batteries, Coal demand in Asia, New petrochemical plant, and more. See what journals and industry experts have been discussing in the last four weeks.

Latest Industry Articles

China's top EV battery maker CATL touts new sodium-ion batteries
Channel NewsAsia

China’s top electric vehicle (EV) battery maker CATL has launched its newly developed sodium-ion battery, its chairman Zeng Yuqun said.
Coal demand in Asia surges despite IPCC report findings
Mining Technology

The 2021 IPCC report offered stark warnings to the impact current energy practices have on the mitigation of temperature rise. The IPCC report highlighted the prevalence of coal power stations as one of the major barriers to achieving warming below an acceptable level. Despite this, there has been a surge in coal demand within Asia.
Chandra Asri inks $1.7 billion deal over new petrochemical plant
The Jakarta Post

The country’s largest integrated petrochemical manufacturer, PT Chandra Asri Petrochemical (TPIA), has sealed a deal worth US$1.3 billion with Thailand’s largest refinery Thai Oil Public Co Ltd (Thaioil) for the development of a petrochemical complex.
Uranium growth hormone

In the post-­covid world, metal prices are growing, and so is the global economy. This also lays a pathway for the growth of uranium prices, however, the fundamental factors of supply and demand are weak drivers. Analysis of the uranium market shows that it barely, if at all responds to changes in demand and supply.
Massive expansions won’t hurt cobalt price as supply shifts to oligopoly

Cobalt hydroxide (feedstock material generally produced at mines as part of the primary processing of ores) has been on a tear, up 15% in July to $46,375 a tonne (midpoint 100% Co basis CIF Asia) bringing gains so far this year to 64%, according to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence.
BlackRock joins plans to close coal-fired power stations throughout Asia
Mining Technology

Asset manager BlackRock joins plans with other financial institutions, including Citigroup Inc., HSBC Holdings Plc, and the Asian Development Bank, to hasten the closure of coal-fired power stations throughout Asia. The plan aims to support the eventual phasing out of coal-powered stations.
Demand for cement hit by shutdowns

The one-month closure of construction worker camps to curb the spread of Covid-19 has decreased domestic demand for cement and building materials by 20%, says Siam Cement Group (SCG), Thailand’s largest cement maker and industrial conglomerate.
Steel demand to drop for a few months

The one-month shutdown of construction worker camps to contain the spread of Covid-19 is expected to decrease demand for steel in the construction sector by 30-40% as Tata Steel Thailand (TSTH) has already seen sales drop by 20-30% during the shutdown.
Singapore LNG aims to build facility extracting chemicals from gas
Channel NewsAsia

Singapore LNG, operator of the country’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal, is designing a new facility to extract chemicals from the super-chilled fuel, in a project that could help boost the island’s energy security.
China To Build The First Small Modular Nuclear Reactor

Forbes – Business

China has 49 nuclear reactors in operation, 17 under construction, and another 100 planned by 2035. China has also established the first national institute dedicated to nuclear. So, of course, they’ve started building their first small modular reactor, the Linglong One.

Manila Water’s TBM-driven Novaliches-Balara Aqueduct 4 project nears completion

Manila Bulletin

The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) celebrates Manila Water’s milestone in its landmark Novaliches-Balara Aqueduct 4 (NBAQ4) project as the tunnel-boring machine (TBM) being utilized for the project has already broken through at the La Mesa Reservoir, more than seven kilometers away from its entry shaft at Balara in Quezon City. The Php5.

China to resume production at shuttered coal mines to meet demand

Mining Technology

China is set to resume production at several shuttered coal mines to meet rising power demand. According to a Bloomberg report, around 15 coal mines across the northern provinces will restart operations for a year. The move is expected to deliver around 44 million tonnes (Mt) of coal, the publication added citing a statement from China’s National Development and Reform Commission.

How China is charging ahead in the electric vehicle race

Mining Technology

“Don’t waste your time and money.” This was the warning from Wang Chuanfu, CEO of auto and electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer BYD, to the CEO of Xiaomi on the matter of making EVs in China.
The perhaps not-so-friendly advice was given to Xiaomi’s Lei Jun at an entrepreneur event this year, and was intended to reflect the fact that it isn’t an easy leap for non-auto makers to make it in the world of EVs. Either that, or the BYD CEO may be getting a little tired of others encroaching on his lane.

China’s steel output hits 15-month low

Chinese steel production plunged in July to a 15-month low, according to Bloomberg calculations, as the industry begins to make good on a pledge to reduce output below last year’s record levels to restrain emissions. The world’s top producer made 86.79 million tonnes of crude steel last month, falling 7.6% from June and 8.4% from 93.36 million tonnes in July 2020, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed recently.


World’s largest EV market facing challenges

A report by IDTechEx found that China’s electric two-wheeler sector, despite still being the largest EV market in the world with some 29.66 million units produced in 2020, is no longer seeing the explosive growth of the past. According to the market analyst, the country’s two-wheeler segment grew at a rate of 24% compound annual growth rate from 2002 until 2016, when it saw a peak of around 32 million units. Since then, the numbers have been going down.

Cambodia's gold mining venture begins producing results

NST Online

CAMBODIA’S venture into gold mining has started to produce results as the mining company announced it has produced 137 kg gold dore bars.

Thailand Oil Giant Going on Green Spending Spree

Thailand’s oil giant is suddenly spending billions of dollars on electric-vehicle and renewable-energy companies and tilting its traditional businesses toward chemicals and plastics.

China Oil Refining Tumbles to 14-Month Low

China’s oil refining slumped to the lowest level in 14-months as private processors scaled back operations amid a crackdown by authorities.

New Oil Field Comes Online Offshore Malaysia

Petronas has announced that the East Cendor field in Block PM304, offshore Malaysia, has achieved first oil production.

Output of lithium-ion batteries up

Shanghai Daily

China’s lithium-ion battery output surged over 60 percent year on year in the first half of 2021 as the country strives to peak carbon dioxide emissions and achieve carbon neutrality, official data shows.The output topped 110 GWh in the period, and the industry’s total production value exceeded 240 billion yuan (US$37.1 billion), according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.The country’s lithium-ion battery exports jumped nearly 70 percent year on year to 74.

China's SMIC pushes ahead 'as planned' with new chip plants in Beijing, Shenzhen amid US trade restrictions

South China Morning Post

Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC), mainland China’s largest foundry for integrated circuits (ICs), is on track with the construction of new chip fabrication plants in Beijing and Shenzhen, despite lingering risks of US restrictions.

Improving sustainable Indonesian palm oil

The Jakarta Post

Indonesia needs a globally accepted certification and widely and recognized carbon tax and trade mechanisms to ensure that its oil palm plantations are sustainable.

To hit climate goals, Indonesia urged to ban new oil palm plantations forever

The Straits Times

Indonesia, the world’s top palm-oil producer, introduced a 3-year freeze on plantation permits that expires in September.

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