SHIJIAZHUANG, April 21 (Xinhua) -- The major steel city of Tangshan in north China's Hebei Province has kicked off a campaign to relocate and upgrade 13 steel and iron mills in a bid to reduce pollution and energy consumption.
The 13 mills near the main urban areas of Tangshan have a total production capacity of 51.4 million tonnes, said Lang Wenchang, deputy director of the city's development and reform commission, on Sunday.
The 13 firms will be relocated to coastal industrial parks in Laoting and Fengnan in Tangshan, said Lang.
The major steel base in Laoting is under construction and is scheduled to start operation in the second half of the year. It will use more energy-saving and environmentally-friendly techniques and churn out more high-end steel products.
The steel industry has been a major driver of local economic growth but has also led to severe pollution and high energy consumption.
Highly polluting companies, including steel mills and coking firms, in and within 25 km of urban areas, contributed to 70 percent of local air pollutants, said Lang.
The relocation and upgrading in Tangshan will help cut coal consumption by 1 million tonnes and reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by 20 million tonnes a year, according to the city's ecology and environment department.
The city plans to reduce the number of local steel and iron companies to within 30 from the current 38 by 2020 and to within 25 by 2025, with more moving up the value chain to produce high-end products.
Between 2013 and 2018, Tangshan cut its steel and iron production capacity by more than 78 million tonnes in a bid to reduce excess capacity.