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Pharmaceutical plant to relocate after pollution scandal

(Xinhua)

16:43, September 05, 2012

HARBIN, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- The Harbin Pharmaceutical Group, a major pharmaceutical company in northeast China's Heilongjiang province, has decided to relocate one of its plants from downtown Harbin to the city's outskirts following a pollution scandal that occurred last year.

Construction on a new site for the company's General Pharmacy Factory (GPF) has started at the Hulan Development Zone in the suburbs of the provincial capital, a city government official said Wednesday.

Construction on the project, built with a total investment of over 700 million yuan (110 million U.S. dollars), started in early July and is expected to be completed within 17 months, said the official.

The GPF, established in western Harbin in the 1960s, was originally part of the city's outskirts. Urban expansion later resulted in the construction of residential communities in the area.

Local residents subsequently complained about a chemical odor lingering around their homes. Their anger peaked last June, when news of pollution issues at the plant broke. Two months later, the provincial environmental protection bureau ordered the company to pay a fine of 1.23 million yuan for failing to meet environmental requirements, as well as improperly storing and burning toxic waste.

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