January 8, 2017 / 6:08 PM / 7 months ago

Hebei to cut 31.86 million tonnes of steel and iron capacity in 2017 - Xinhua

The sun sets behind a chimney of a steel mill in Tangshan, Hebei province February 18, 2014.Petar Kujundzic/File Photo

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China's biggest steelmaking province Hebei plans to slash 31.86 million tonnes of steel and ironmaking capacity for this year, the official Xinhua news agency quoted a provincial official as saying on Sunday.

Hebei, a province in the north of the country near the capital Beijing, accounts for nearly a quarter of China's total steel output and has pledged to cut steel capacity by 31.17 million tonnes by 2017 and by 49.13 million tonnes by 2020.

Xinhua reported Hebei provincial governor Zhang Qingwei as saying in a government work paper that Hebei is aiming to eliminate 15.62 million tonnes of steel capacity, 16.24 million tonnes of ironmaking capacity by the end of this year.

Hebei had cut 14.62 million tonnes of steel capacity by the end of October, achieving 2016's target of 14.22 million tonnes ahead of schedule.

Zhang also said four "zombie firms" in Heibei would be shut down this year. He did not specify which firms.

"(The) process of reducing all ironmaking and steel production capacity in cities of Langfang, Baoding and Zhangjiakou will be accelerated this year," Zhang was quoted as saying.

In addition, there are plans to cut 7.42 million tonnes of coal capacity, 1.1 million tonnes of cement capacity and an additional 5 million weight cases of flat glass in 2017.

Tangshan, China's biggest steel producing city, which is in Hebei province, aims to close 8.6 million tonnes of steel capacity in 2017, the local government said on Thursday, part of its efforts to "upgrade" its highly-polluting heavy industrial economy.

Reporting by Winni Zhou and Alexandra Harney. Editing by Jane Merriman

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