Cepsa Chemical expects strong recovery in May
Cepsa Chemical Shanghai, which did not put a pause on production amid the COVID-19 pandemic resurgence in the city, is expecting a strong recovery in the second half of May.
As the biggest industrial investment project in China among all Spanish enterprises, Cepsa Chemical's Shanghai plant is dedicated to the production of high-quality cumene, phenol and acetone, with an annual output of 430,000 tons, 300,000 tons and 188,000 tons, respectively, mainly for the Chinese market.
These can be processing raw materials for new-generation plastics, cosmetics, shampoo, biodegradable detergents, coatings, electronic components and pharmaceutical products.
The company noticed the outbreak in Shanghai rather early on, due to the particularity of the industry.
"After learning from experiences of previous pandemic prevention and control, and thanks to the Chinese government's information transparency and measures on timely disclosure, we were able to take 'closed-loop production' measures at an early stage," explained Javier Nieto, general manager of Cepsa Chemical Shanghai.
"As early as the beginning of March, we decided to conduct closed-loop management of more than 50 percent of the plant's personnel, as a way to ensure safe production constantly and steadily," he said.
After getting the city's nod, Cepsa sent key staff back to the plant. It also obtained a special transportation permit to guarantee raw material supplies and delivery of finished products.
To ensure production, the company modified part of the office area into a living and rest zone. It was equipped with medical resources and paramedics as well.
Nieto believes the situation is getting better, albeit slowly, but people cannot let their guard down.
"We are seeing and experiencing a gradual improvement, so we have high hopes for May, especially the second half of the month. I really foresee that we will overcome this outbreak."
In early April, the company donated about 70 boxes of pandemic prevention materials, including protective clothing, gowns, isolation masks, disposable gloves and KN95 masks, to the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park Medical Center and the Red Cross of Jinshan District.