In September 2016, Dr. J. Malcolm Gray, Chairman of ITI International, was awarded the Foreign Expert Friendship Award by the Chinese government. The award is China’s highest award for foreign experts who have made outstanding contributions to the country’s economic and social progress.
During the award ceremony, Dr. Gray addressed the Vice Premier, Mr.Ma Kai, and described his historical contributions to the Chinese steel industry.
“Esteemed Vice Premier Ma Kai,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is an unexpected honor and pleasure to be recognized by Chinese government at this Foreign Expert event for my contribution to the line pipe and iron steel industry over close to four decades. My first visit to China was in 1978.
During the ensuing 38 years we were always warmly welcomed and given generous and unrivalled hospitality. I particularly recall the charm of Lu Da, Former Vice Minister of the Metallurgical Industry and the enthusiastic quest of Zhou Chuan-dian his successor for a forward technical strategy to grow steel output on limited budgets. The idea to grow and upgrade old steel plants using imported used equipment became a winning strategy and was supported by our help in bringing 120 foreign experts to Beijing to participate in HSLA 85. They shared their unique knowledge and experience which served China well for the next decade, until capital became available to construct huge green field plants, which now produce over 850 million tons annually. We have become very impressed by the quality of today’s Chinese steel which now equals or outshines the best producers in Japan, Korea & Europe.
In the early days of our relationship with China’s Steel Industry which was enthusiastically supported by CBMM, we developed a strong relationship with CISRI particularly, Dr. Wu Baorong who in 1979 helped organize melting of the first niobium microalloyed heats at Shanghai No.1 Steel Plant and Taiyuan Iron Steel. These were used for X-52 pipe, ship plate and pressure vessels. Today we are helping several companies in Australia and India to purchase over 500,000 tons of plate, coils and line pipe per year from Baoshan, TISCO and other mills.
While experts such as I respect the advanced steelmaking and rolling technologies in a large numbers of steel mills, especially related to line pipe, we find that steel buyers and pipeline operators are afraid to purchase Chinese steel. Thus, I recommend that you launch a comprehensive publicity campaign, attend prestigious conferences, present papers, interact with the industry opinion leaders, etc. Also, the remarkable achievements of CNPC in constructing the vast Second and Third West-East Pipeline Systems are not well known in North America and deserve widespread recognition.
Once again Mr. Vice Premier, thank you for the award and the opportunity to share highlights of my wonderful experiences in your country and congratulations on the Second and Third West-East Pipelines in which you were personally involved.”