Chinese Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan said on Friday outdated iron and steel production plants should be phased out as scheduled within the year, adding the task was critical to the country's energy saving and emission reduction targets.
The iron and steel sector is one of six major industries that are responsible for about 70 percent of the country's industrial energy consumption and sulfur dioxide emissions.
At a working conference held Friday, Zeng stressed that the country's industrial policy for the iron and steel sector must be rigorously implemented.
Local governments should take the major responsibility in ensuring that outmoded production capacities are shut down, Zeng said.
Ten local governments from the major steel production centers pledged to meet the goal of eliminating outdated production facilities in a written statement filed with the country's top economic planner during the conference, detailing the specific objectives, their responsibilities, measures to be taken and evaluation methods.
Zeng said more expensive power supply options should be adopted.
The country has ordered a halt to the operation of backward rolling mills, blast furnaces with capacity of less than 200 cubic meters, and converters and electric furnaces with capacity of less than 20 tons. New blast furnaces must have a capacity of over 1,000 cubic meters and new converters a capacity over 120 cubic meters.
Iron and steel firms are being urged to build recycling and waste water treatment facilities to better protect the environment.
Zeng said the iron and steel enterprises should focus on sustainable development rather than simply slash production.
The conference finalized the country's plan to phase out 30 million tons of outdated iron production capacity this year as well as 35 million tons of steel production capacity.