Shougang Group to Close Last Furnace in Beijing
worker goes to work in a steel factory of Shougang Group, a Chinese iron and steelmaker, in Beijing on Sunday, December 19, 2009. [Photo: the Beijing News]
Shougang Group, a Chinese iron and steelmaker, will stop production in Beijing's Shijingshan District by the end of this year, the Beijing News reported.
The group, founded in 1919, has decided to close its plants in western Beijing and begun relocating facilities to neighboring Hebei Province due to environmental concerns.
The steel giant's new plants are located in Caofeidian, north China's Hebei Province, a small sand spit 220 kilometers east of Beijing. The new site by China's Bohai Bay enjoys the geological advantage of convenient transport.
Shougang Group will close its last furnace still operating in the capital on December 31, 2010, and stop its smelting and hot rolling business there, as a part of the efforts to reduce air pollution, according to the report.
The only steel plant the group will keep in the city is a cold rolling thin strip production line, which will not put a heavy burden on the environment.
The industrial zone previously occupied by Shougang group, covering an area of over 700 hectares, will be developed into seven functional sections, including an industrial theme park, cultural and creative industry center and a riverside recreation area, according to the reconstruction planning recently released by the local government of Shijingshan District.
Shijingshan District, once considered a major polluting area in Beijing, aims to build itself into a capital recreation district (CRD). Before its relocation, Shougang, also known as Capital Iron and Steel Group, was the largest enterprise in Beijing and also a major source of pollution.
As the Beijing factory's closing day approaches, Shougang Group has beefed up its efforts to find employment for 22,000 laid-off workers. The group pledged to "ensure proper arrangements for each employee".
A container of molten iron is shipped out of the last furnace operating in the steel factory of Shougang Group, a Chinese iron and steelmaker, in Beijing on Sunday, December 19, 2009. [Photo: the Beijing News]