In the first half of 2019, the equipment manufacturing sector closely followed the national policy trends and continued to tap new opportunities. Through the implementation of key initiatives, such as the introduction of talent, improvement of technological capacity, launch of new products, enhancement of productivity and offering of excellent services, equipment manufacturing sector saw the continued improvement of its overall competitiveness.
In terms of market development, equipment manufacturing signed 14 external sales contracts and sold 23 sets of equipment to the external markets, including 11 sets of grate furnaces, 8 sets of gas purification systems and 4 sets of leachate systems. During the first half of 2019, the sector has secured external contract sales of equipment amounting to RMB439 million.
In terms of equipment supply and services, during the period under review, equipment manufacturing sector commenced a total of 21 service items, spanning across 9 provinces in China, including 1 EPC project. In the first half of 2019, the equipment manufacturing sector provided 30 grate furnaces to projects of the Group, an increase in capacity of 173% compared with the first half of 2018. The designed daily waste processing capacity of these grate furnaces reached 14,600 tonnes, an increase of 163% compared with the first half of 2018. Moreover, the equipment manufacturing sector sold 19 sets of grate furnaces, 11 sets of gas purification systems and 18 sets of leachate treatment systems.
In terms of after-sales services, the after-sales market for the equipment manufacturing sector increased substantially compared with the first half of 2018. Of which, the number of the external after-sales service contracts reached 32, with a total value of RMB12.38 million. During the period under review, the number of after-sales service items was 91 in total, recording an increase of 47% compared with the first half of 2018. These services items include 64 for the internal projects and 27 for the external projects.
In addition, phase III of the Group's equipment manufacturing centre in Changzhou City completed construction during the period under review. It expanded the equipment manufacturing capacity of the Group and provided a robust safeguard in terms of infrastructure for the rapid development of equipment manufacturing.