Mr Ding Fengshou, GM of REWELL Refractory Zhengzhou Co., Ltd.
REWELL Refractory Zhengzhou Co., Ltd., established in 2002, has abundant research strength and advantages of origin of resources. There are five major series of refractory products including iron & steel metallurgy, nonferrous metals, building materials, coal coking, and power industry. Meanwhile, REWELL has a team of experienced professionals, to provide customers with high quality service and on-site guidance. Now REWELL Refractory also invested a subsidiary in Indonesia named PT.INDOFURNACE and another subsidiary in Vietnam named VIETNAM REWELL ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD to explore the overseas market.
Refwin: What was the motivation to start your career in refractories industry? How did you take the refractory industry step on the Belt and Road Initiative?
Mr Ding Fengshou: Years ago in Beiing, a CEO of an Indian company with a hundred years history asked me why I chose refractories industry. My answer was that I grew up in Gongyi City of Henan province, with the most advantages of refractories resouces and industrial strength. There are many refractory factories near my home, and I grew up with the sound of brick machine. Therefore, I entered refractory industry once I graduated from my school.
I cannot help loving this industry, as I understood the refractories more and more. There are so many unknown expertise and new challenges in front of me everyday. Now some economists put forward “New Industry” and “New Economy”, which propose to abandon assembly-linemanufacturing techniques in a large scale and initiate a new industrialization with innovation-driven, customized, and service-oriented. I think refractory players have always followed this so-called “new industrialization”. All refractory companies need to innovate all the time so as not to be forced out; manufacturers have to understand the application conditions of every user and set up a unique service solution accordingly; on-site service is an important part for refractories installation. I do not think refractory industry is running over capacity, but a typical example of new industrialization.
As a person from a small city of inland, I am very grateful to our great country and this wonderful times that I can step up on the journey of the Belt and Road Initiative! Thanks to CMC, QINYE for taking me on the road! I should also thank the Indonesian Chinese Mr. Fadjar Suhendra, the founder of Growth Steel Group (Indonesia). He built the first blast furnace in Indonesia which is the biggest nickel iron blast furnace in Southeast Asia. Growth Steel Group also invested a number of other basic industries, and founded a Chinese university to spread Chinese culture in Indonesia.
Refwin: Please share with us the main products and markets of REWELL.
Mr Ding Fengshou: REWELL’s products cover most refractories items used for iron-making and steel-making, like long-time working solution for hot blast, materials for maintaining blast furnace, taphole clay, high thermal conductivityself-flow castables, etc. We also provide WFA brick, AZS brick, alumina bubble brick for ceramics & glass industry, lowtemperature curingwear-resisting castables for cement industry, and light-weight insulating brick and monolithics for coal-coking and power industry. We are also promoting the form of contract for per ton steel from China to overseas market, and now we have a successful case in one Vietnamese steel mill.
Refwin: How do you see the international trade friction in refractory industry?
Mr Ding Fengshou: Refractories industry may face little trade friction since its limited applications and unique properties. That is to say, this industry is not accessible for all countries and companies. Now we are doing our best to serve the countries along the Belt and Road, with our industry advantages and great confidence. I think trade friction is more often for refractory raw materials exports than products.
Refwin: China released the Belt and Road Initiative in 2013. How has it changed Rewell?
Mr Ding Fengshou: The Belt and Road initiative, proposed by General Secretary Xi Jinping - potentially involving an area equal to 55 percent of the global GDP, 70 percent of the global population and 75 percent of known energy reserves – is reshaping global supply chains. China is in a bid to enhance regional connectivity and embrace a brighter future together by export of talents, technology, management, and advanced productive forces.
Now REWELL has established a refractory plant in Indonesia, an engineering technology company in Vietnam, and found steady business partner in India. Under the background of anti-pollution and production restriction in China, REWELL achieved its sales revenue increasing 38% YoY, which is the most substantial benefit from R&B Initiative for us. We would like to continue to expand our channel advantage and help more companies with desire to develop in overseas regions.
One of REWELL projects in Indonesia
Refwin: The total output of China refractory product in 2016 was 23.91 million tons, of which export volume was only 1.64 million tons. Compared with world leading refractories companies, what improvements should Chinese refractories players make to lift the competitiveness?
Mr Ding Fengshou: I have no too much study on China export volume of refractory products, but I clearly know that there is no any Chinese refractories brand in Top 10 of world refractory companies. China is the biggest refractory materials provider and the largest consumer of refractory products in the world. Actually, we make strong foreign brands at the sacrifice of environment, resources and market. Ido not know how many of the refractories export volume with Chinese brand. Why we have no any advantage to compete with world leading refractories players? All our advantages have been swallowed by low price competition. Without enough profit, we have no research and development ability, no brand, no management system, no advanced manufacturing capacity, no financing channels and our resources advantage and demographic dividend vanish meanwhile.
I believe there is no any foreign players get the order by a lower price. We Chinese refractories brands have to abandon low price competition, and seek for differentiated demands to achieve reasonable profit. Practise hard to perfect administration, build brand, and increase scientific research input. Refuse to compete with low price and give bribes. In this case, the users can avoid purchasing refractories from the entire world regardless of the cost one day. I sincerely hope more independentflagship brands and companies emerge on the world stage, with all great improvements in quality, quantity and benefits.
Refwin: Thank you for talking to us, Mr Ding!