China-based medical material supplier Sinopec Corp. recently inaugurated its first meltblown nonwoven fabric line at its Yanshan factory in Beijing. The line was commissioned in response to the global medical supply shortage resulting from the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The 14,440-ton capacity line is one of two meltblown assembly bases that Sinopec co-manages with China National Machinery Industry Corp. The two nonwoven lines together can produce up to 4 tons of meltblown fabric each day, which may be used to manufacture 1.2 million N95 disposible masks; or 6 tons of fabric for 6 million basic disposable masks. The company reports it is currently constructing an additional eight meltblown nonwoven lines that are expected to come online in mid-April.
“It normally takes about half a year to complete the construction of a 10,000-ton melt-blown fabric factory, we have done it in 12 days — 48 hours ahead of schedule,” said Lv Dapeng, spokesperson of Sinopec Corp. “In a challenging time like this, saving 48 hours means that we can produce an extra 12 million disposable masks.”