Beijing's bid to move polluting firms adds pressure on nearby regions

Posted by Joseph R. Fonseca
Thursday, April 17, 2014

China's capital has ordered more than 50 companies to shut down this year in an effort to cut pollution but pushing factories out could raise objections in surrounding areas reluctant to host Beijing's polluters.

Smog-shrouded Beijing and the surrounding province of Hebei have become a front in a "war against pollution" declared by Premier Li Keqiang last month.

But experts say efforts to cut coal consumption and industrial output in big cities like Beijing is likely to put pressure on other regions to endure more pollution to keep the economy growing, with overall coal consumption expected to rise by a quarter from 2011 to 2015.

"Moving Beijing's plants to Hebei isn't the best way," said Yang Fuqiang, a former government researcher and senior energy and environment adviser with the Natural Resources Defense Council, a U.S.-based think-tank.

"They have to move much further away to western or central China, where manufacturing needs to be developed and where local economic problems are much more immediate," Yang said.

According to Beijing authorities, the city has ordered 53 enterprises to relocate factories producing steel, heavy machinery and chemicals, and will pay them 90.5 million yuan ($14.55 million) in compensation.

The number of closures for the whole of the year could eventually reach 500, the official People's Daily newspaper reported this week, citing Zhang Boxu, the head ofBeijing's economic commission.

On the list are ageing steel processing facilities owned by the Shougang Group, one of China's biggest steel firms which moved most of its production to Hebeiprovince before the Olympic Games in 2008.

A pharmaceutical plant owned by the Xinxing Cathay International Group, a Fortune 500 firm, will relocate after it signed an agreement with the city of Handan in Hebeiprovince.

The Xinhua news agency said on Thursday that moving the pharmaceutical plant would cut Beijing's carbon dioxide emissions by 400,000 tonnes a year, sulphur dioxide emissions by 9,000 tonnes and dust by 10,000 tonnes.

The company was not available for comment on Thursday but an official with the Handan city government confirmed the move.

OPPOSITION

The official said that the new facilities were not expected to add to the environmental pressures facing the city, the location of dozens of small, private steel mills, because the company would use surplus energy produced by nearby enterprises.

However, authorities in Hebei, already under pressure to reduce emissions, have expressed concern that they are being asked to take in some of Beijing's dirtiest enterprises.

The government in Langfang city has expressed opposition to a plan to move some of Beijing's "low-end" industry there, Xinhua reported this week, a strategy the news agency described as "beggar thy neighbour".

Yang of the NRDC said relocated firms needed to be encouraged to use the proceeds from selling property in Beijing to upgrade technologies and set higher environmental standards.

The government is hoping to create an integrated "economic circle" with Beijing at its centre, the National Development and Reform Commission, China's top planning agency, announced this week.

Authorities in Hebei are hoping the plan will give the province more incentive to shut its old polluting industries like steel and cement and develop more modern, cleaner enterprises.

According to the Beijing Daily newspaper, the capital is planning to move as many as 5 million of its residents to Hebei, with the aim of capping total population at 18 million by 2020.

State media reported last month that Beijing was also planning to transfer some government functions to the city of Baoding in Hebei.

About a third of Beijing's smog comes from outside the city, prompting authorities to encourage the whole region to cut emissions.

"In my opinion, any industrial reform in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei should obey one rule - the reduction in total pollutant emissions," said Huang Wei, campaigner in Beijingwith environmental group Greenpeace

(Additional reporting by Stian Reklev, Kathy Chen and Beijing newsroom; Editing by Robert Birsel)

($1 = 6.2214 Chinese Yuan)

Maritime Reporter June 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Environmental

MOL Commended with Quality Ship Awards

MOL Commended for ‘FY2013 Best Quality Ship Award’; MOL president Koichi Muto meets with captain and chief engineer, exchanging views and working to establish a more solid safe operation system.

Danos Adds Environmental Services

Danos recently added an Environmental Services Division to the company’s collection of oilfield related services, which includes production workforce, construction,

Danish Bunker Trader Joins GAC in London

GAC Bunker Fuels says it has appointed former GAC Denmark Shipping Assistant Ida Ryberg as a Bunker Trader with its UK team. Ryberg joins Andy Boichat and Resham

Energy

Study: An Arctic Oil Well Blowout Could Spread More Than 1,000km

Oil from a spill or oil well blowout in the Arctic waters of Canada's Beaufort Sea could easily become trapped in sea ice and potentially spread more than 1,000 kilometres to the west coast of Alaska,

Westermeerwind Wind Farm Construction Begins

Mammoet announced today that Westermeerwind BV has reached financial close on July 25 for the turnkey construction of the Westermeerwind wind farm in Ijsselmeer,

Gas Prices Help Offset Statoil's Output Drop

Statoil's second quarter 2014 net operating income was NOK 32 billion, a decrease of NOK 2.3 billion compared to the second quarter of 2013. Adjusted earnings were NOK 32.

Casualties

Cause of S.Korea Ferry Businessman's Death Remains Unknown

Yoo's body too badly decomposed to determine cause of death; mystery surrounding final days of de-factor owner of doomed ferry deepens. Yoo's son arrested in latest capture of family members.

Costa Tow Update: Climate Onboard 'Calm'

According to the latest update, after approximately 30 hours of navigation, the Concordia has travelled 63 nautical miles at an average speed of 2 knots, informs

Better Operational News from Fugro

Fugro says that (an as yet unidentified vessel) recently affected by a fire is back in operation. The total time out of operation amounted to seven weeks. Secondly,

News

Canal Project Slows Panama Economy Growth

Panama's economy expanded in May at its slowest pace since 2009 as major public works projects, including an expansion of the Panama Canal, slowed or wrapped up,

ClassNK Holds LNG Fuel Technologies Seminars

ClassNk held LNG-Fuelled Vessel Technologies seminars in Shanghai and Singapore on 22 July and 24, July 2014, respectively. With the industry looking to adopt

USCG Change of Command in Galveston

A Coast Guard lieutenant commander and graduate of Hastings High School in Houston, took command of Maritime Safety and Security Team Galveston during a ceremony in Galveston Thursday.

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Ship Electronics Ship Repair Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1653 sec (6 req/sec)