China's Jiangsu to set industrial output cuts for winter of up to 50 percent

BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China’s Jiangsu province will impose production curbs of between 30 percent to 50 percent on heavy industry including steel, coke, casting, non-ferrous, chemicals and building materials during the winter season, according to a document reviewed by Reuters.

A loader is seen amid coal piles at a port in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province, China January 25, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo

The order was handed down as part of an integrated winter pollution action taken for the Yangtze River Delta region that includes 41 cities in order to reduce toxic emissions.

Jiangsu, a manufacturing hub in eastern China, urged governments in cities with high concentrations of particulate matter pollution to order companies to cut their industrial production by more than 50 percent from November to February, according to the document dated Oct. 17 and issued by the Jiangsu Provincial Anti-Air Pollution office.

The authenticity of the document was confirmed by a local government official.

China mandates an air quality standards for particulate matter of 2.5 microns (PM2.5) or smaller, which is highly hazardous because it can lodge deep in the lungs, of 35 micrograms per cubic meter. However, the World Health Organization recommends no more than 10 micrograms.

Seven cities, including Xuzhou, Changzhou, Huai’an, Yangzhou, Zhenjiang, Taizhou and Suqian, reported PM2.5 concentrations of 60 micrograms per cubic meter and above and were ordered to impose output cuts of at least 50 percent.

The rest of the cities in the province such as the provincial capital of Nanjing and the port of Lianyungang will need to order companies to cut output by more than 30 percent.

Production cutting rates on individual companies will be based on their emission levels, the document said.

Industrial plants that meet ultra-low emission standards will be exempt from the winter restrictions.

The provincial government has urged local authorities to set up their own winter emissions cutting plans before Oct. 25 and will submit them to the central government for review by the end of this month.

Reporting by Muyu Xu in BEIJING and David Stanway in SHANGHAI; Editing by Christian Schmollinger