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China begins next batch of plant demolitions

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World Cement,

Following the first batch of cement plant demolitions in December 2013, work has begun on the destruction of another 17 facilities in Shijiazhuang, Hebei. The demolitions form part of China’s countrywide strategy to crackdown on heavy industry and improve air pollution levels.

Hebei’s provincial government has announced targets for alleviating excess capacity in heavy industries such as cement, steel and coal. By 2017, Shijiazhuang is set to reduce its cement production capacity by 15 million t. The demolition of 17 plants, including the dismantling of 18 cement powder-making systems and 377 storage bins, will be completed by the end of March and will reduce production capacity by 9.1 million t.

Wang Liang, the Mayor of Shijiazhuang, told local press that following the second round of demolitions, the city will be on track to meet its target of reducing excess capacity three years ahead of schedule. This would reduce production capacity by 40%.

The two batches of demolitions have targeted 35 plants overall and have resulted in economic losses of ¥1.1 billion (US$180 million). The closing of the cement facilities has also directly affected 3780 workers. Sun Ruibin, Party Chief of Shijiazhuang, commented that the country could experience a slowdown in economic growth, but that the improvement in air pollution levels would make this worthwhile.

Edited from various sources by Rosalie Starling

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