On behalf of the Board of Sinopec Corp., I would like to extend our heartfelt thanks for your continued attention and support.
Over the past year, we have seen worldwide efforts aiming at realizing the 17 goals, such as no poverty, climate action, and affordable and clean energy, that put forward by the United Nations 2030 Agenda, and striving to achieve the sustainable development of mankind. Adhering to the development concepts of innovation, coordination, greenness, openness, and sharing, China is committed to building a prosperous, strong, democratic, civilised, harmonious and beautiful socialist modernised country by the middle of this century, and actively implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and contributing to realizing the Sustainable Development Goals. As a participant, a contributor, a facilitator and a beneficiary of global economic and social development, as well as a LEAD member within the United Nations Global Compact, Sinopec Corp. implements the new development concepts, adheres to high-quality development, and is firmly committed to low-carbon, green, safe,responsible and sustainable development, and has made progresses in all aspects in 2019.
As for the business development, we pressed ahead with high efficiency exploration and profit-oriented development and achieved tangible results in increasing reserves, maintaining oil production, increasing gas output and reducing cost. As the result, the percentage of natural gas in total oil and gas production increased continuously which helped enhance the capacity of the Company in clean energy supply. We provide gasoline and diesel products that meet the National VI emissions standard, and actively respond to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) 2020 requirements to increase the production capacity of low sulphur maritime fuel oil. We accelerated the development in the fields of high-performance carbon fibre and high-end synthetic materials to upgrade to petrochemical products that are environmental-friendly and low-carbon. We accelerated the development of comprehensive service and intelligent operations of our service stations to provide consumers with convenient full-service. We also actively expanded international cooperation, accelerated the development of e-commerce platforms, and continued to foster new business.
As for the green and low-carbon development, we proactively responded to climate change, rapidly grew our natural gas business, continued to produce biojet fuel and bio-diesel, constructed new charging stations, promoted photovoltaic power generation and the utilisation of hydrogen, joint the International hydrogen Council and cooperated with hydrogen company, striving to provide clean energy for society; continued to implement the Energy Efficiency Improvement Plan and the Green Enterprise Campaign, continuously reducing the comprehensive energy consumption per RMB10,000 of output; strengthened our greenhouse gas emission management and accelerated the research on carbon capture and storage technology. We improved the protection of atmosphere, water and soil, further lowering the discharge of major pollutants and the volume fresh water withdrawal for industrial use, and making sure 100% of our hazardous wastes were disposed properly. We attached great importance to biodiversity conservation, and made assessment of ecological hazards to reduce the impact on the ecological environment. We joined the Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW) and worked together with partners to actively cope with plastic pollution and support the development of a circular economy of plastics.
As for safety development, adhering to the principle that “development should not come at the cost of safety”, we strengthened safety management, conducted regular safety risk assessments to identify and eliminate safety hazards, improved emergency management, and ensured stable production and operation throughout the year. We enhanced safety training and capacity building for our contractors, and worked together with our carriers to explore the supply models for hazardous chemical materials to ensure logistics safety throughout the process. We improved security management to ensure the safety of employees. We also strengthen information security management, and established a network security risk management platform to ensure the security of our information facilities and data.
As for technological innovation, we implemented the innovation-driven development strategy, formulated mid- and long-term plans and actions, promoted the establishing of joint innovation platforms, organised research on key technologies, and achieved new breakthroughs in a number of key research and development projects. In 2019, we received one second prize of National Technology Invention Award and six second prizes of National Science and Technology Progress Award, and a total of 4,076 patent applications were granted. We accelerated the intelligent upgrade of the industrial chain through building intelligent oil and gas fields, intelligent factories, and intelligent service stations for promoting the digitalised, network-based and intelligent upgrade of our operations. We also participated in industry development, leveraging our expertise and advantages to promote industry innovation and development in terms of scientific research, industry standard formulation, and industry-wide sharing and communication.
As for contribution to the society, adhering to the people-oriented concept, we strengthened the talent troop construction and supported the career development of employees, improved the assessment and management of employees’ physical and mental health, and advocated for decent work. We continued our support for the targeted poverty alleviation efforts and carried out a variety of poverty alleviation projects that customised to local conditions, such as poverty alleviation through industrial development, through education, and through providing better healthcare, etc., with three poverty-stricken counties be lifted out of poverty. We also continued the Sinopec Lifeline Express Programme and the Warm Stations Programme to help people in need, which were highly recognised in society. During the COVID-19 epidemic in early 2020, we worked together with our stakeholders to fulfil our corporate citizen responsibilities during this dire time. We took prompt actions to donate funds and supplies, leverage our capabilities to produce medical supplies and set up production lines with partners to produce face masks, one of the most urgently needed supplies. We also took advantage of our network of service stations and EasyJoy convenience stores, to ensure stable supply of fuel and gas, and provide a safe and convenient way for people to purchase daily necessities without physical contact.
Looking ahead to 2020, we will continue optimising the system and capacity for corporate governance, actively promote structural adjustment, transformation and upgrading, consolidate the foundation for industrial development, and strive to build a clean, efficient, low-carbon, and circular green enterprise, and provide more clean energy and products to drive social development and satisfy people’s needs. We will make green development as our core competence, aiming at achieving sustainable and healthy development, contributing to countries where we operate as well as our shareholders, customers, employees and value chain partners. We cherish your suggestions for the sustainable development of the Company, and look forward to working together with you to build a sustainable world-class energy and chemical company, and help provide a better life and better future for everyone.