The China Post
Salt, or sodium chloride, is a compound with a simple composition and structure, present in tremendous amount on Earth: In the ocean alone, there are 36,000 billion tons of it, while on land there are hundreds of billions of tons more.
One of salt’s important uses is as an electrolyte for most multicellular organisms and to regulate osmotic pressure in organisms — in other words, to serve as a basic substance that sustains life. Besides that, there are over 14,000 applications of salt in everyday life and in industry, from cooking to cleaning to producing tens of millions of tons of chlor-alkali products a year globally.
Shihlien Chemical Industrial Jiangsu Co. (實聯化工江蘇公司) has found yet another purpose for salt: using it as an agent for industrial transformation.
Shihlien is a traditional chemicals manufacturer, producing 1 million tons of soda ash and 1.02 million tons of ammonium chloride out of its facility in Jiangsu province’s Huai’an City, using salt as one of its raw material.To meet that facility’s appetite for salt, it took out a nearly 40-year salt mining right and built a 1.2 million tons/year vacuum-evaporated salt plant.Thus making Shihlien one of the salt producing leaders in mainland China.
Recently, Shihlien has pushed to levy its salt resources to expand its operations into the health and biotech sectors. Using what was available at the vacuum-evaporated salt plant, Shihlien is developing a series of high value-added products for medical, health and wellbeing.that based on salt and the salt-making by-products.It has already invested about US$50 million in building a factory 300,000 tons/year pharmaceutical grade sodium chloride plant. The plant is set to become the largest facility of its kind in the world, is now in completion.Shihlien is in the process of applying for drug product license and pharmaceutical GMP certification from the Jiangsu Food & Drug Administration.Shihlien hope that its new products can be formally launched by the end of 2017.
Shihlien’s other salt-based biotech offerings include high-end edible salt, livestock lick blocks, water-softening salt, alkaline drinking water/functional beverages — products that cater to a demand that is growing due to rising living standards and modernization in mainland China. The company’s transformation from traditional salt chemical industry to life and biotech sector has been recognized by the Huai’an City government, which in September 2016 named it a key player in the biotechnology and health industry.