BEIJING Dec 17 Beijing's city government has
ordered 1,200 factories near the Chinese capital, including an
oil refinery run by state oil major Sinopec and a Cofco food
plant, to either shut or cut output following its highest
possible air pollution warning.
Environmental authorities issued a red alert that started on
Friday night and will run until Wednesday after warning of a
smog build-up across China's north. That will mean curbs on
traffic and construction work and advisories for schools,
hospitals and businesses.
The municipal government said in a statement Sinopec's 10
million tonne-per-year Yanshan refinery, a Shougang Group
steel product plant and a Cofco factory that makes
instant noodles and crackers were among 500 companies it had
ordered to limit output.
It also listed 700 companies that must suspend operations
Red alerts are issued when the air quality index (AQI), a
measure of pollutants in the air, is forecast to break 200 for
more than four days in succession, surpass 300 for more than two
days or overshoot 500 for at least 24 hours.
The AQI reading in Beijing on Saturday was 120.
Ten cities in the province of Hebei, which surrounds Beijing
and is the nation' top steel-producing region, have been issued
with red alerts for smog. Steel plants there have been forced to
The world's second-largest economy has been battling
environmental degradation left by decades of breakneck economic
growth. The government's colour-graded warning system was
adopted as part of its crackdown on smog.
(Reporting by Josephine Mason and Meng Meng; Editing by Paul