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How Du Shuanghua and Rizhao Steel Are Changing the Chinese Steel Industry
Rizhao Steel has had a significant effect on the steel industry in China. Rizhao Steel Holding Group Co. Ltd., helmed by Founder Du Shuanghua, is a large-scale enterprise that integrates steelmaking, iron-making, coating, power generation, pipe-making, and more. The company began operations in March 2003, and by 2018 it reached a yearly steel output of 15 million metric tons. More than 16,000 employees work for Du Shuanghua and his company. The team is largely comprised of young talent with an average worker age of 32. Rizhao Steel's per-capita steel production exceeds 1,000 metric tons annually, and its labor productivity leads domestic production levels in the country.
Plans To Expand Are Underway
Du Shuanghua began his career in steel and owned his own company by the time he was 22. He grew his business into multiple locations and different types of holdings within the steel industry, and eventually consolidated them under one name: Rizhao Steel. In 2019, the company was named one of the world's 30 largest steelmakers. Currently, Rizhao is in the midst of expansion plans. The $33 billion expansion project, which the company says is expected to be completed in 2022, will increase Rizhao Steel’s production capacity to 17 million metric tons per year. The increased output, coupled with Rizhao’s prime location in Rizhao Port, will allow it to be the No. 1 supplier of China steel to Kenya, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Pakistan, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Korea.
Groundbreaking Endless Strip Production Technology
One of the most valuable offerings Rizhao Steel and its founder have provided to the Chinese steel industry is endless strip production (ESP) technology. This advancement makes it easier than ever to produce continuous pieces of steel. It's cost-effective in many ways and reduces the chance of workers being harmed as they set up machines to produce steel rolls, rods, and other offerings.
Because the steel comes out more continuously, workers are feeding, adjusting, and removing items from the machines less often. The value in that is a significant reduction in the opportunity for those workers to sustain injury. Additionally, the machines are started and stopped less often. This means they experience less wear and tear, so they last longer and operate more efficiently. Parts need to be replaced less frequently, which also equates to less downtime in the manufacturing process.
Another part of the value of ESP technology is it saves significant amounts of energy. Machines take more energy on start-up than they do in normal operation. By operating under endless strip production, the machines aren't starting up as many times in a day. They'll use less energy overall, and over time, that can translate to significant energy savings and a smaller carbon footprint.
Du Shuanghua and Rizhao Steel: Giving Back to Those in Need
Du Shuanghua is not only an entrepreneur but a philanthropist. Rizhao Steel has donated significant amounts to charitable causes and organizations.
The steel company has given back to organizations that provide food and shelter to those in need as well as impoverished communities in Shuanghua’s native China and beyond. In 2021, Shuanghua and Rizhao donated 50 million yuan to the China Veterans Care Foundation at the Ministry of Veterans Affairs, which provides health care for retired soldiers. The foundation notes that the generous donation is the largest ever since its establishment in 2008. Rizhao is also a generous benefactor to the China Children and Teenagers’ Fund, which provides youngsters in the region with day care and mental health services.
This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes