BEIJING, May 26 (Reuters) - Hebei, China’s top steelmaking province, has pledged to close a total of 14.22 million tonnes of capacity in 2016 as part of the country’s efforts to tackle a price-sapping glut in the sector, the official Xinhua news agency said on Thursday.
This represents just over 1 percent of official capacity of 1.13 billion tonnes.
Xinhua said the province would close the first batch of 8.2 million tonnes before November and the rest by the end of the year. Most of the mills lined up for closure are situated in the cities of Tangshan, Handan, Qinhuangdao and Langfang.
The smog-plagued province, which surrounds China’s capital Beijing, had previously promised to cut its total crude steel capacity by 60 million tonnes over the 2014-2017 period in order to reduce air pollution.
It has already shut 41.06 million tonnes in 2014 and 2015, according to the provincial steel industry association.
The province had a total of 286 million tonnes of annual capacity in 2013, around a quarter of the national total. It aims to bring the total down to 200 million tonnes by the end of the decade.
China as a whole is planning to cut steelmaking capacity by 100 million to 150 million tonnes in the next five years, with the industry facing widespread losses as a result of slowing demand. (Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Ed Davies)