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

Environmental

Autonomous Technology for Offshore Wind Farm

ASV Ltd in association with Planet Ocean Ltd, have received funding from the GROW:OffshoreWind initiative to investigate how the use of Autonomous Surface Vehicles

Hurricane Gonzalo Knocks out Bermuda Power

Power was knocked out to 80 percent of Bermuda's electricity grid due to Hurricane Gonzalo, the island's only power company, Bermuda Electric Light Co., said on Friday evening.

Can Oil & Gas Superpower Lead on Climate Change?

A day before President Barack Obama addressed the United Nations to declare the nation is "stepping up to the plate" to tackle climate change, nearly 400,000

Energy

Autonomous Technology for Offshore Wind Farm

ASV Ltd in association with Planet Ocean Ltd, have received funding from the GROW:OffshoreWind initiative to investigate how the use of Autonomous Surface Vehicles

BHP Bullish on Caval Ridge's Prospects

Yesterday BHP Billiton Coal President, Dean Dalla Valle, was joined by the Hon. Tony Abbott MP, Prime Minister of Australia, and joint venture partner Mitsubishi in a ceremony to open the US$3.

Vice Presidents Rejig at Caterpillar Inc

Following the previous announcement regarding two group presidents’ retirements and new responsibilities for another group president, Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT)

Casualties

Simushir Under Tow by Barbara Foss

Foss Maritime's ocean-going tug, the Barbara Foss, is towing the Russian cargo vessel, Simushir, which lost power late Thursday night off the west coast of Haida Gwaii.

USCG Search For Boater Missing 50 miles South St Marks, Florida

The Coast Guard is searching for a missing boater 50-miles south of St. Marks, Florida, Sunday. Missing is George Taylor, 60, from Tallahassee, Florida, who

Saudi Oil Pipeline Set Alight

A "limited fire" broke out on a subsidiary oil pipeline in eastern Saudi Arabia on Saturday after assailants fired shots at a security patrol, the state news agency SPA said.

News

Autonomous Technology for Offshore Wind Farm

ASV Ltd in association with Planet Ocean Ltd, have received funding from the GROW:OffshoreWind initiative to investigate how the use of Autonomous Surface Vehicles

BHP Bullish on Caval Ridge's Prospects

Yesterday BHP Billiton Coal President, Dean Dalla Valle, was joined by the Hon. Tony Abbott MP, Prime Minister of Australia, and joint venture partner Mitsubishi in a ceremony to open the US$3.

India to Develop Iran's Chabahar Port

India will float a company to develop Iran's Chabahar Port, a government statement said on Saturday, as New Delhi aims to take advantage of a thaw in Tehran's relations with world powers.

 
 
Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Winch
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: 0.1999 sec (5 req/sec)