September 14, 2018 / 11:12 AM / 6 days ago

China's top steelmaking city mulls sliding scale for winter smog-busting cuts - draft

BEIJING (Reuters) - Tangshan, China’s top steelmaking city, is considering smog-busting steps this winter that set penalties for heavy industry, pharmaceutical and pesticide firms based on their efforts to curb emissions, according to a document reviewed by Reuters.

A worker walks past a pile of steel pipe products at the yard of Youfa steel pipe plant in Tangshan in China's Hebei Province November 3, 2015. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

That would comply with a broader anti-pollution plan reported by Reuters this week that the central government is considering to avoid blanket cuts during winter season. It would also create more incentives to polluting companies to adopt nuanced emission reduction techniques.

The measures would start on Oct. 1 and end on March 31, 2019, an earlier start than last year’s measures that took effect on Nov. 1.

Industrial plants in the steel, coke, casting, construction materials, pharmaceuticals and pesticide sectors in the smog-prone city will need to cut output by between 30 percent and 70 percent based on their emission levels, according to a draft document issued by the Tangshan city government reviewed by Reuters.

Three sources who received the noticed confirmed its authenticity.

The Tangshan government did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

Companies that reach tough ultra-low emission targets and use rail or heavy-duty trucks powered by clean energy and diesel that meets the National Five standard or higher would be exempt from the winter cuts, the document shows.

Steel mills in Tangshan have been rushing to install equipment, costing up to 200 million yuan ($29.19 million), to meet the new emission standards by Oct. 31 deadline.

($1 = 6.8514 Chinese yuan renminbi)

Reporting by Muyu Xu and Josephine Mason; Additional reporting by Yilei Sun in BEIJING and David Stanway in SHANGHAI; Editing by Christian Schmollinger

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