Industrial stainless steel pipes are used in particular environments, have high production technology requirements, and are difficult to process, and usually have the characteristics of multiple specifications, multiple batches, and customization.
There is an explosive demand for thermal power, and the supply of stainless steel high-pressure boiler tubes of supercritical and above is insufficient due to existing barriers. At the same time, nuclear power operation drives the recovery of related steel pipe demand under the background of tight power supply and clean energy transformation. In addition, in recent years, the capital expenditure of oil companies has been rising, effectively driving up the demand for oil well pipes.
Stainless steel pipes: high value-added products.
The product qualification rate is mainly determined by factors such as the material, outer diameter, wall thickness, process, and steel pipe technology. The product processing fee fluctuates with changes in labor costs and market supply and demand environment. Products with higher added value and more prosperous demand can obtain higher processing profits relatively.
Explosive demand for thermal power and the supply of boiler tube products is insufficient.
Due to existing barriers, the industry order of supercritical and above stainless steel high-pressure boiler tubes is relatively good. A development pattern dominated by some enterprises has formed for a long time. In terms of demand, with the acceleration of the approval of coal-fired power plants, the use of (ultra) supercritical units has increased, and the demand for high-end boiler tubes has increased significantly.
According to calculations, the consumption of high-pressure boiler tubes such as Super304H and HR3C for (ultra) supercritical units per million kilowatts is about 1250 tons. If 80 million kilowatts of coal-fired power units are added, the corresponding demand for boiler tubes can reach 100,000 tons. Adding the demand for replacing and reconstructing boiler tubes will significantly boost demand.
The accelerated layout of nuclear power and critical materials are independently controllable.
Nuclear power steel has extremely high requirements for safety and reliability, and it is difficult to enter due to high barriers.
Previously, some varieties of nuclear power pipes were monopolized by foreign companies, which had long product delivery cycles and high prices, restricting the safe development of China’s nuclear power.
In recent years, domestic enterprises have successfully developed 690 alloy heat transfer pipes and 718 alloy seamless pipes for sealing rings and other products, breaking the technical monopoly of foreign countries and significantly reducing costs.
In 2022, China approved the construction of 10 nuclear power units, the most approved units since 2009. Under the tight power supply and clean energy transformation background, nuclear power investment may enter a policy-friendly phase again, driving the recovery of related steel pipe demand.
Rapid oil and gas pipeline construction and increased exploration and development investment.
Transmission pipes are mainly used for long-distance oil, gas, and slurry transportation. In early 2022, the National Development and Reform Commission and the National Energy Administration proposed a target of reaching a national oil and gas pipeline network of about 210,000 kilometers by 2025. Oil well pipes are mainly used for downhole tubulars in oil and gas wells (such as oil pipes and casings).
China’s crude oil and natural gas production has continued to increase in recent years, and the stimulation of high oil prices has gradually emerged. The capital expenditure of oil companies has been rising, effectively driving the demand for oil well pipes.