China's top steelmaking city deepens output cut to fight smog: CSJ

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China’s top steelmaking city, Tangshan, will step up curbs on industrial output as it makes greater efforts to cut hazardous smog, the China Securities Journal reported on Monday.

The city, in northern China’s Hebei province, has ordered more industrial plants, including rubber, plastics and paint producers, to make deep cuts in production, the newspaper said, citing a government notice.

The curbs will last for four months, until March 2018, but the city is asking industrial plants to make temporary, steeper, cuts in production over the next three days, when smog is expected to worsen.

The city will also limit the use of trucks and tractors between Oct. 24-27.

China has been cracking down on big industrial polluters to reverse the damage done to its air, rivers and soil by more than three decades of breakneck growth.

Tangshan already ordered steel mills, cement and other plants to cut output in early October, a month earlier than expected. It is the latest city to launch a campaign to tackle toxic air before the previous deadline of Nov. 15.

The city produces nearly 100 million tonnes of crude steel a year, more than the United States, and is routinely listed among China’s 10 smoggiest cities. It vowed last month to shut ceramic and cement factories and restrict road freight activities during the heating season.

China will strive to comply fully with its own air quality standards by 2035, the country’s environment minister Li Ganjie said on Monday, adding that the long and difficult battle against pollution would eventually benefit the economy.

Reporting by Ruby Lian and Josephine Mason; Editing by Adrian Croft