Companies go back to work amid virus outbreak

By YUAN SHENGGAO | (China Daily)| Updated : 2020-03-02

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Protection and prevention measures in place to ensure worker safety

Companies at Weifang Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone in East China's Shandong province resumed production in mid-February, with epidemic prevention measures for the novel coronavirus introduced and business confidence in terms of future growth in the zone remaining high.

Shandong Yinlun Heat Exchange, a company specializing in the development of refrigeration technology, resumed production on Feb 10, with production at almost full capacity.

"We have restored 80 percent of our production capacity," said Wang Hongjiang, director of the production and operation department at Yinlun."Most workers on our production lines are Weifang locals."

Wang said that six workers from other regions had been kept in quarantine for two weeks for medical observation in line with government guidelines.

In the fight against the novel coronavirus, Yinlun has established strict control measures before resuming production.

They cover disinfecting working areas, checking on the proper use of facial masks, employee temperature monitoring and providing staff meals.

Yinlun has nine parts suppliers in Weifang, eight of which have resumed production. The final one will be back soon, according to Wang.

Weifang Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone, a national economic zone, is providing all necessary support to local companies.

"The zone has provided two lots of facial masks to us. They've also coordinated support for the resumption of our production lines," Wang said.

Yinlun received orders valued more than 130 million yuan ($18.49 million) for the first quarter of 2020, an increase of 30 percent year-on-year. The company said it has taken measures to fulfill those orders from key clients such as Weichai, Foton and Caterpillar.

"We can serve orders worth 115 million yuan to 120 million yuan based on our current capacity,"Wang said. "Our production is expected to be back to its normal level in March."

Weifang Special Steel resumed its production in early Feb, and is hoping to overcome shortages of labor, raw materials and logistics services in order to maintain growth in 2020.

"Demand for steel is rigid so we do not worry about a lack of orders once our partners are back to normal in the upcoming months," said Li Yan, deputy general manager of Weifang Special Steel.

"We had a good performance in January," Li said. "We have stocks but they are already on order by partners. They will be delivered once logistics resume normal operation."

The zone has set up strict measures for companies resuming operations and epidemic prevention and control, and strengthened measures for worker health management. Local authorities are also striving to serve company demand for masks and disinfectant, zone officials said.

"We reported companies' problems such as raw materials and parts shortages to the Weifang government so the upper-level government can make coordination and arrangement as a whole," said Li Yu, deputy director of the department of industry and information at the zone's economic and development bureau.

Nie Yujin contributed to this story.


Workers wearing masks assemble engines at a plant in Weichai Power, a Weifang-headquartered industrial leader. CHINA DAILY