(Corrects 3rd paragraph to make aluminium capacity closure target 270,000 tonnes rather than 270,000 million tonnes)
* China to close 7.8 mln T of steel capacity
* To shut 700,000 T copper, 270,000 T aluminium capacity
By Ruby Lian and David Stanway
BEIJING, April 26 (Reuters) - China, the world’s top steel and copper consumer, has set its 2012 target to shut down inefficient industrial metals capacity, the industry ministry said on Thursday, part of efforts to reduce pollution and improve efficiency.
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said in a statement that it aimed to shut 7.8 million tonnes of steelmaking capacity and 700,000 tonnes of copper smelting capacity this year, compared with shutting 27.94 million tonnes and 425,300 tonnes, respectively, in 2011.
About 270,000 tonnes of aluminium capacity and 10 million tonnes of ironmaking capacity will also be removed this year, both much lower than last year’s targets.
However, Beijing will continue to keep industry consolidation among its top tasks for the 2011-2015 period as it tries to curb pollution and energy waste, as well as to encourage the development of high-tech sectors.
The ministry has ordered local governments to fulfill the targets.
China is the world’s top producer and consumer of steel, aluminium, lead and zinc and the largest consumer of copper.
In addition, the government is targeting to close 320,000 tonnes of zinc capacity and 1.15 million tonnes of lead capacity this year.
For a separate story on China’s 2011 industrial capacity reduction target, click: (Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Richard Borsuk)