China Petrochemical Corp, China’s largest oil refiner, has set up two production lines for meltblown non-woven fabric in Beijing on Saturday, with eight more under construction in Jiangsu province, expected to be put into operation in the middle of April.

The two production lines are expected to manufacture four tons of fabric that can be made into 1.2 million N95 respirators or six tons of fabric for 6 million surgical masks every day, according to Sinopec Beijing Yanshan Petrochemical Co Ltd, subsidiary of the corporation.

Upon completion, the 10 production lines will be able to produce fabric for 3.6 million N95 respirators or 18 million surgical masks every day, the company, also known as Sinopec, said. Sinopec is also the country’s largest supplier of medical raw materials.

As the essential material to make medical masks, meltblown non-woven fabric is used for the filtering layer in the middle of the mask. As China’s centrally administered State-owned enterprises have been accelerating work on production of meltblown non-woven fabric to help the anti-epidemic fight, the corporation decided on Feb 24 to set up a total of 10 meltblown non-woven fabric production lines to help make masks to fill the demand gap in the fight against the novel coronavirus.

According to company spokesperson Lyu Dapeng, the company had the two production lines put into operation 48 hours ahead of schedule, which means 12 million surgical masks can be produced in that time.

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