The following is an excerpt from Muyu Xu, Thomas Peter | September 10, 2018 | reuters.com |
TANGSHAN, China (Reuters) - “Push the steel mills out of the city center and turn it into a modern, habitable place to live in,” reads a banner hung across the boarded-up offices of Guofeng Iron and Steel Co in the center of Tangshan, China’s top steelmaking city.
Behind the gates of the factory, surrounded by a hospital, a shopping mall and high-rise apartment blocks, workers and bulldozers were busy on a recent visit tearing down furnaces as part of a 38 billion yuan ($5.5 billion) plan to move to a new industrial park 60 kilometers (37 miles) away.
Six hours drive away to the southwest, meanwhile, executives at Hebei Xinjin Iron & Steel Co, a Handan-based medium-size mill, are scrambling to find a new site in the south after being served notice to leave their home province last month.
The two steelmakers are among the first producers in Hebei province to comply with the local government’s latest audacious plan to make its smoke-stack industries more efficient and clean the notoriously toxic air of the northern industrial heartland.
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