Steelmaker removed from Beijing to cut pollution

09:06, January 14, 2011      

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Shougang Group, a leading heavyweight steelmaker in China, announced Thursday it had halted all its steel-making operations in Beijing amid efforts to cut air pollution in the capital.


Workers watch a furnace operate for the last time at Shougang Group's steel plant in Shijingshan district, in the western suburbs of Beijing on Dec 19, 2010. The country's leading steelmaker halts operations in Beijing amid efforts to cut the capital's air pollution. It has built a 21-square-kilometer new plant in Caofeidian, an islet 220 kilometers east of Beijing in Bohai Bay, to replace Shougang's old facilities. (Xinhua Photo)

A shutdown ceremony was held Thursday morning in Shougang's Shijingshan site in western Beijing, marking the end of the company's plant that was founded almost a century ago and had an annual production capacity of 8million tonnes.

That also means Shougang had reduced air pollutants it had discharged into the capital's sky from the maximum of 9,000 tonnes a year to zero now.

"We fulfill our solemn commitment to the nation and the people, " Zhu Jimin, board chairman of Shougang, told the ceremony.

The company has built a 21-square-kilometer new plant in Caofeidian, an islet 220 kilometers east of Beijing in Bohai Bay, to replace Shougang's old facilities.


An official at Shougang Group receives a plate honoring the company's outstanding performance in the past decade at a closing ceremony at a steel plant in Shijingshan district, Beijing on Jan 13, 2010. (Xinhua Photo)

China has encouraged steelmakers to build factories in coastal areas to take advantage of ports to minimize the purchasing cost of iron ores.

Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang attended Thursday's shutdown ceremony, saying the relocation was significant as it is the first steelmaker to have moved from a big city to a coastal area.

"The relocation has strategic significance in promoting the restructure of the iron and steel industry, and transformation of urban functions," he said.

"It is also an important move for China to accelerate the transformation of economic development mode," he said.

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http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90776/90882/7260784.pdf