Hebei vows further heavy industry capacity cuts by 2020

Source:Reuters Published: 2018/7/5 22:38:41

North China's Hebei Province on Thursday said it plans to slash steel capacity by 50 percent in some of its major cities by 2020, and it will also shut coal mines, coking plants and cement factories to upgrade its economy.

Hebei, a major source of the air pollution drifting over neighboring Beijing, produces about one-quarter of the country's total steel output, and it has been on the front line in China's war on pollution that is now in its fifth year.

According to an article published by the Hebei provincial environmental bureau, the province will aim to cut a total of about 40 million tons of steel smelting capacity by 2020.

It aims to have just 60 steel enterprises by the end of the decade, with 90 percent of capacity controlled by its top 15 producers, it said, citing senior government officials at a meeting on Wednesday.

The cities of Baoding, Langfang and Zhangjiakou - a host city for the 2022 Winter Olympics - will shut all their steel mills by 2020. Chengde and Qinhuangdao will close half of their mills. Chengde, Zhangjiakou and Baoding will also eliminate all their coal mines by the end of 2020.

Hebei will also shut another 5 million tons of annual cement capacity, 10 million tons of coking capacity and 1.5 gigawatts of thermal power capacity by 2020, the provincial chief Party Secretary Wang Dongfeng was quoted as saying.

Hebei closed more than 60 million tons of steel capacity and slashed coal use by 40 million tons over the 2013-17 period.

The province had 286 million tons of annual steel capacity in 2013, and is aiming to bring that figure down to 200 million tons by the end of the decade.

Tangshan, China's top steelmaking city, ordered companies in the steel, coke and coal-fired power sectors to meet ultra-low emissions targets, the latest effort to curb air pollution.

Steel mills will be given until October to meet the targets, while coke producers and coal-fired power plants will have to meet them by September, according to a local government document issued on Wednesday.

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