May 7, 2018 / 9:38 AM / 7 months ago

Chinese chemical producers curb output on new round of inspections

BEIJING (Reuters) - At least five publicly listed chemical producers has been ordered to reduce output for violating environmental protection regulations, company fillings made this month to the Shanghai Stock Exchange and the Shenzhen Stock Exchange showed, as Beijing steps up its fight against pollution.

Four of the companies, including Nanjing Chemical Fibre, Lianhe Chemical Technology, Jiangsu Yabang Dyestuff and Jiangsu Yoke Technology, are based in eastern Jiangsu province where the local government has launched sweeping checks on its chemical sector.

The wider scrutiny follows the shutdown of a chemical plant in the city of Lianyungang, in northern Jiangsu province, after media reports showed it was polluting nearby water resources.

“Government ordered all chemical producers to temporarily halt production after media reported pollution problems from chemical firms in Lianyungang,” Lianhe Chemical Technology said on Monday.

Local officials in eastern China are facing more pressure to improve air quality and are taking more aggressive measures as a result.

China’s environmental ministry in April warned of a ‘stalemate’ in the war on smog, with poor weather conditions undermining Beijing’s efforts to reduce smog.

In another example of tighter curbs on commodity producers, the city of Xuzhou, also in Jiangsu province, suspended operations at three steel mills until they meet more strict anti-pollution rules.

Jiangsu province is China’s second-largest steelmaking region. Lianyungang is being considered as the site for one of seven planned major oil refining complexes in China.

Under the plan, the city would hold an energy complex with 40 million tonnes per year of crude oil refining capacity.

Reporting by Meng Meng and Aizhu Chen; Editing by Christian Schmollinger

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