China's leading steel hub Tangshan city imposed a series of emergency measures from April 15 to fight against air pollution expected to blanket the city and the surrounding Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area.
The expected smog, a heavier pollution process than in previous years, was expected from April 16 to 20, warned the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE).
The emergency measures put into place this week will see current sintering capacity cut by 50% in order to curb smog build-up. Early in March, the city is already cutting production by 10-15% in non-heating season (from March 16 to November 15).
"The forecast pollution has not reached a level for us to issue a smog alert," said an anonymous Tangshan official. "But we asked the industrial plants to cut emissions in advance to help reduce pollution when it arrives."
Local coking plants were ordered to extend coking time to 36 hours, about 40-50% capacity curb. The local government also temporarily halted foundry factories and limekilns during the smog process.
Trucks were also forbidden in and out plants in steel, coking, nonferrous metal, power, chemical among other heavy industries.
Tangshan steel mills were earlier forced to shut down for as long as a week at the end of March, and executives said production curbs are the new normal.
(Writing by Alex Guo Editing by Harry Huo)
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