Hebei, China's top steel-making base and the second largest province in coke production, is reportedly to retire local coke ovens with chamber height of 4.3 meters by the end of this year.
About 12.56 million tonnes of annual coke-making capacity from 18 coke firms was said to be eliminated by the end of 2020, and some producers based in Tangshan, Handan and Shijiazhuang have been notified, sources said.
Hebei is one of major coke production bases in northern China, with an output of 4.2 million tonnes in May, second only to Shanxi and accounting for over 10% of the country's total.
Coke-making capacity in Hebei took a larger share, at about 15.4%, with the approved capacity combined at 85 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa).
Capacity from 4.3-meter coke ovens stood at 17.5 Mtpa, about 20.6% of the province's total.
Early in May 2019, a leading governmental group for restructuring of the province's coking industry issued Measures, aiming to accelerate the transformation and upgrading of the coking industry in Hebei and realize high-quality development.
Plans for upgrading or reducing coke ovens with a height of 4.3 meters in Hebei must be put forward by the end of 2019, and all coke ovens with a height of 4.3 meters in the province should be shut down by the end of 2020, it said.
For the new construction project after the confirmation of capacity replacement, coking chamber height of tamping coke oven shall be 6 meters and above; the height of top-charging coke oven shall be 6.98 meters and above; and capacity shall reach over 1 Mtpa, the Measures proposed.
If the province strictly implements the clear-out over 4.3-meter coke ovens for the rest of the year, local coke supply is expected to turn tight, as the to-be-added capacity would be far less than the would-be eliminated capacity this year.
Of about 18.21 Mtpa of new coke-making capacity in Hebei, 3.29 Mtpa is expected to be commissioned by end of this year, and 6.68 Mtpa by 2021, according to an earlier report from sxcoal.com.
(Writing by Emma Yang Editing by Jessie Jia)
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