October 31, 2017 / 11:21 AM / 2 years ago

China steel capital Tangshan to halve winter iron production capacity: sources

FILE PHOTO: Smoke rises from chimneys of a steel plant next to a viaduct on a hazy day in Tangshan, Hebei province February 18, 2014. REUTERS/Petar Kujundzic/File Photo

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Tangshan, China’s top steelmaking city, plans to temporarily halve its iron production capacity from mid-November until mid-March as local authorities step up efforts to fight winter smog, a notice from the municipal government showed on Tuesday.

Tangshan, in northern China’s Hebei province, aims to temporarily ban production from a total of 18.21 million tonnes of ironmaking capacity, the notice said.

Two sources with direct knowledge of the matter confirmed the authenticity of the document.

The city government sets the levels of capacity reduction for individual plants based on their emission performances, using a third-party evaluation agency.

Plants that have failed to obtain a pollution emission license will be shut completely, the notice said.

Tangshan, about 180 km (112 miles) east of Beijing, has already ordered factories including rubber, plastic and paint makers, to make deeper cuts in production during winter when pollution worsens due to coal being used for heating.

Tangshan produces nearly 100 million tonnes of crude steel a year, more than the United States, and is routinely listed among China’s 10 smoggiest cities. It vowed last month to shut ceramic and cement factories and restrict road freight activities during the heating season.

Reporting by Ruby Lian; writing by Chen Aizhu; editing Louise Heavens and Jason Neely

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