Hu Youyi, President of China Aggregates Association: Take multiple measures to strengthen the dominant position of enterprises in scientific and technological innovation
  • By:China Aggregates Association
  • |
  • May 15 , 2023

The report of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China proposed to strengthen the dominant position of enterprises in technological innovation. As a bulk basic building material, what measures will aggregates industry take to strengthen the dominant position of enterprises in technological innovation? In this regard, China Building Materials News interviewed Hu Youyi, president of the China Aggregates Association.

China Building Materials News: Scientific and technological innovation is the lifeline of enterprise survival and development. What are the advanced scientific and technological achievements of aggregates industry at present? What should enterprises do to strengthen the dominant position of scientific and technological innovation?

Hu Youyi: Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, aggregates industry has achieved remarkable results in promoting technological innovation, and a large number of advanced scientific and technological innovations results have emerged. For example, the first is the green low-carbon technology represented by "compressed air energy storage (CAES) transportation-drilling-blasting-crushing green production technology in open-pit mines" and "short-process, low-energy, high-quality sand production technology"; the second is the digital and intelligent technology represented by "intelligent design and control technology for aggregate production" and "full working condition extended program intelligent mining truck technology and equipment"; the third is the high-efficiency mining technology represented by "precision step blasting technology in open-pit mines"; the fourth is high-efficiency beneficiation technology mainly represented by "hard rock manufactured sand and gravel efficient processing complete equipment technology" and "high-efficiency sand washing, fine sand recovery technology and integrated equipment technology"; the fifth is the comprehensive utilization technology mainly represented by "high-quality machine-made sand production technology"; the sixth is the dust removal technology mainly represented by "the key technology of dust prevention and control in ore mining and utilization process".

These advanced and applicable technologies ranging from mine perforation, rock drilling, blasting, transfer to sand and gravel processing, from soft rock to hard rock, from dry production to wet sand washing, from crushers to dust removal, are representative of the technical benchmark in the whole process of aggregates production.

To strengthen the dominant position of enterprises in scientific and technological innovation and effectively play the dominant role of enterprises in technological innovation, I suggest that efforts should be made in the following aspects: First, insist on taking innovation as the primary driving force. We need to thoroughly implement the innovation-driven development strategy, increase investment in scientific and technological R&D, accelerate the transformation of scientific and technological achievements, and strengthen the carrier support of innovation platforms. The second is to enhance the independent innovation capability of enterprises. Enterprises need to strengthen the construction of R&D centers and scientific research pilot processing bases, and strive to create national and provincial innovation platforms. The third is to explore the collaborative innovation mechanism of "joint R&D and results sharing", encourage universities, scientific research institutes, construction units and enterprises to strengthen industry-university-research cooperation and establish industrial common technology research platforms. The fourth is to improve the level of technological innovation of enterprises, carry out research on the performance testing methods of manufactured-sand mother rock and manufactured sand product, support enterprises to accelerate green and low-carbon scientific and technological research, rely on industry leading enterprises, carry out independent R&D industrial common key technologies, establish a scientific evaluation system, and advance the promotion and application of industrial scientific and technological achievements .

China Building Materials News: It is known that aggregates are the most indispensable, indispensable and irreplaceable raw materials for infrastructure construction in our country. The annual aggregates consumption is about 20 billion tons, which is the world's largest mineral product, raw material and bulk commodity. What is the current development status of our country's aggregates industry? What challenges will the industry face?

Hu Youyi: Aggregate industry is a huge industry. With the increasingly stringent regulation and requirement on the national ecological environment, the amount of natural sand and gravel has dropped from 90% to about 10%. Mechanical mining and processing of sand and gravel has provided the main source of aggregates supply. Aggregates producing enterprises have transformed, upgraded, reorganized and integrated from more than 56,000 in 2013 to more than 12,000 in 2022. At present, the company with the largest production scale has an annual design capacity of more than 70 million tons, while the world’s largest aggregates project with an annual output of 100 million tons has started the first phase of production(annual production 50 million tons) recently.

Our country can independently manufacture a series of products with complete specifications and varieties, and a lot of equipment has reached the world standard. At present, there are more than 3,000 aggregate equipment manufacturing enterprises in China. The aggregates industry utilizes its own advantages to actively carry out scientific research on the recycling of solid waste such as tailings, waste rock, stone powder, soil, construction and demolition waste, tunnel slag, waste equipment, and wear-resistant parts. Our country's aggregate quarrying enterprises practice the concept of green development, and realized automation, scale, and green of production. The market share of high-quality manufactured sand and aggregates has increased year by year.

In the past three years, the aggregates industry has been affected by factors such as insufficient new infrastructure projects, reduced investment in real estate development, and excessive release of regional mining rights. Overcapacity has emerged in some areas, and the price of aggregates has dropped. The industry faces multiple challenges in the future. The intensified competition among enterprises should be highly valued. Among them, a number of large-scale mining rights have been approved along the Yangtze River, and central enterprises, state-owned enterprises, and large private enterprises have invested heavily in building a number of large and super-large manufactured sand and gravel production lines. This will transform and upgrade the national aggregates industry. However, in the next few years, a number of large-scale production lines under construction along the Yangtze River will be completed and put into operation one after another. The supply of aggregates in this area will increase sharply, which will create overcapacity. The price of aggregate in the product radiation area will drop sharply. The competition in aggregate market in the Yangtze River Basin will become severer.

During the "14th Five-Year Plan" period, the aggregates industry has entered a new stage of high-quality and rapid development and will face many challenges. First, the imbalance between supply and demand among regions and the challenges of overcapacity in some regions gradually emerged. Second, our country's aggregates industry has entered a period of high stockpile from incremental expansion, and our country's manufactured sand and gravel has entered a new stage of development where both stock quality improvement and efficiency and incremental structural adjustment are needed, and the market has changed from short supply to dynamic balance. Third, there are still many technical bottlenecks and unsolved difficulties in the mining, production, transportation and supporting equipment of aggregates raw materials, systematic technology integration, and product online monitoring. The industry's technological innovation system and platform construction need to be strengthened urgently. Fourth, we need more professional and technical management personnel, the proportion of scientific and technological personnel in our industry is small, and the cooperation with relevant professionals in universities, colleges and scientific research units is not sufficient.

China Building Materials News: The report of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China proposed relevant requirements for promoting high-end, intelligent and green development of the manufacturing industry. What do you think is the future path of high-quality development for aggregates companies?

Hu Youyi: During the "14th Five-Year Plan" period, the aggregates industry should focus on the advancement and safety of the supply chain, the greening and modernization of the industrial base, comprehensively promote technological innovation, management innovation and model innovation, and strengthen the efficient utilization of mineral resources and the ability to guarantee supply security. We need to improve the quality of the industry, and start a new journey of green, low-carbon, safe and high-quality development of the industry. By 2025, a preliminary and complete aggregates supply guarantee system and a green and low-carbon industry development pattern will be formed.

The "14th Five-Year Plan" Development Implementation Plan for the Aggregates Industry clearly points out that the road to high-quality development can be summarized into 8 major paths and 23 measures. The first is to insist on planning first, including coordinating the layout of resources, ensuring the balance between supply and demand, and strengthening transportation guarantees. The second is to optimize the industrial structure, including promoting merging and acquisition, rationally deploying aggregates production bases, and promoting integrated development. The third is to strengthen scientific and technological innovation, including strengthening scientific and technological innovation, improving the standard system, strengthening industry monitoring, statistics and supervision. The fourth is to promote green and low-carbon development, including promoting green and low-carbon manufacturing, optimizing the layout of green and low-carbon development, improving safety levels, and promoting comprehensive renovation. The fifth is to promote intelligent manufacturing, including accelerating the application of intelligent manufacturing technology, accelerating the formulation of intelligent manufacturing standards, cultivating intelligent factories and digital mines, and building an industry public service platform. The sixth is benchmarking and demonstration leadership, including giving play to the leading role of large enterprises in demonstration and leadership, strengthening comprehensive development, and integrated development. The seventh is to leverage the capital market, including accelerating capital mergers and acquisitions, cultivating leading enterprises, and accelerating capital market financing and listing. The eighth is to increase international cooperation, including strengthening international exchanges and cooperation, and facilitating the "Belt and Road" construction.

China Building Materials News: China Aggregates Association is a national industry organization of the industry. Could you please introduce the main work done by the association and the remarkable results achieved in promoting the technological innovation and development of the industry?

Hu Youyi: In the past ten years, China Aggregates Association, with the mission of promoting the technological progress and development of the industry, started with the construction of a technological innovation system, and with the purpose of "four services"(serve the government, the industry, the members and the society), actively implemented the national industrial policy, stepped up the pace of technological innovation, and take numerous measures to accelerate the gradual formation of a aggregates technology innovation system with Chinese characteristics.

The first is to encourage enterprises to continuously stimulate endogenous motivation, strengthen major scientific and technological breakthroughs, benchmark against international first-class standards, and strive to break through the "development bottleneck" problem, so that more scientific and technological innovations can be used in the production line, and a number of technical and technological equipment have been selected into relevant national catalogs. An aggregates technology innovation system with Chinese characteristics has been formed in a fast pace.

Second, China Aggregates Association has successively established the China Aggregates Association Expert Committee, the Green Mine Construction Evaluation Expert Database, and the Standardization Expert Committee. It is encouraged that enterprises work hard to establish the scientific and technological projects and promote its application, which provides a guarantee for the smooth progress of scientific and technological achievements and the quality of design.

The third is to strengthen the talent team and scientific and technological training. In recent years, our country's aggregates industry has fully realized the importance of talents, and great progress has been made in building talent team and technology research. A number of enterprises have successively established academician workstations and postdoctoral research stations. From 2017 to 2021, CAA cooperated with Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture, holding six "National Aggregate Industry Technical and Management Personnel Advanced Training Courses", accumulatively trained more than 400 people.

Fourth, with the support of the National Science and Technology Awards Office, CAA conducted Aggregates Science and Technology Award review activities, and 22 awards including field application exploration and research of fine blasting were selected in the first "Aggregates Science and Technology Award" selection activity.

The fifth is to improve the standardization system. Over the years, CAA has united the whole industry to vigorously promote the construction of the aggregates industry standard system. A series of national, industry and group standards such as the "Design Specification for Machine-made Sand and Gravel Aggregate Plant" have been released one after another. The "Evaluation Requirements for Green Factories in the Aggregates Industry" was released in August 2021. In 2022, numerous group standards collection work started, such as "Smart Factory Evaluation Specifications in the Aggregates Industry". The industry standard "Technical Requirements for Dry Sand Making Production Line" was included in the standard revision plan of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, and the industry standard "Applicable Technology Evaluation Specifications for Mineral Resources Conservation and Comprehensive Utilization" and "Specifications on Aggregates Comprehensive Utilization " were included in the 2021 work plan of the Ministry of Natural Resources for revision of natural resource standard system.

The sixth is to provide a theoretical basis and implementation path for the transformation of scientific and technological achievements. In recent years, China Aggregates Association continued the visit of production lines in different areas, conducted a lot of research and fully understood the demands of members. The secretariat of CAA compiled relevant research reports and reported them to superior units and relevant ministries and commissions in a timely manner, effectively safeguarding the interests of the industry, and provides a theoretical basis and implementation path for the transformation of scientific and technological achievements and the high-quality development of the aggregates industry.

The seventh is to investigate enterprises and communicate with them, collect the demands of the enterprise, and carry out the preparation of the development plan for the "12th Five-Year Plan", "13th Five-Year Plan" and "14th Five-Year Plan" of the aggregates industry. It is of great significance to develop tasks, optimize industrial layout, guide the high-quality development of the industry, and ensure national construction.

The eighth is to actively participate in the work of relevant state departments. We keep up with the pace of national development, based on the actual development of the industry, and served as the bridge between the governments and the industry.


China Aggregates Association (CAA) No. 11 Sanlihe Road, Haidian District Beijing, China, 100831
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Contact: Ms Xu Beibei


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