(ATF) Two major energy companies have expanded their production of materials needed to make surgical masks as China boosts output of protective equipment to prevent a further outbreak of coronavirus.
A branch of China’s largest oil and gas producer PetroChina has put into operation a new production line of melt-blown nonwoven fabric in northeast China’s Liaoning Province.
The news comes as the nation’s largest oil refiner, Sinopec, said it had built and was operating another two production lines of the material in Beijing.
Sinopec is expected to manufacture 500 tonnes of melt-blown nonwoven fabric a year.
As the essential material to make medical masks, melt-blown nonwoven fabric is a key constituent of the filtering layer in the middle part of the mask.
The operation of Sinopec’s new lines started on Wednesday, bringing daily production capacity of the fabric to 12 tonnes, an amount sufficient to produce 12 million medical masks, according to Sinopec Beijing Yanshan Petrochemical.
The Sinopec Beijing subsidiary started building the first of its two production lines on February 24, and it was put into operation on March 8.
As of April 16, the company had produced 245.39 tonnes of the fabric, including 17.97 tonnes for the production of respirators.